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Full text of "Poems. Memorials of cousins"

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MEMORIALS OF COUSINS. 



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"to live in hearts we leave behind 
is not to die." 



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PREFACE. 

Many years ago it was the desire of George 
Wilson that verses written by his Cousin, 
James Russell, should be printed along with 
some by himself, and that the volume should 
bear the title given to this one ; but the un- 
finished state of the poem " The Sleep of the 
Hyacinth " induced delay. The long cherished 
project has now been carried out, and it is 
believed that this memorial of love will prove 
acceptable to the friends of both the Cousins 
who speak in its pages. 



CONTENTS. 



To the Stethoscope t i 

The Wings of the Dove and the Eagle 21 

A Sabbath Morning in the Country ...... 25 

The Sleep of the Hyacinth 29 

1 Corinthians xiii. .«,**..,.... 97 

Origin of the Snowdrop . . < 101 

The Trance < 106 

The Skerry vore Lighthouse 134 

The Great Shepherd 141 

The Christian Soldier putting off his Armour at the 

Gates of Hades 147 

The Dead and the Living 151 

There shall be no Night there 154 

On some beautiful little Shells arranged in Groups . , 157 

Athanasius contra Mundum 161 

Angels 163 

The Christian's Three Burdens . . 166 

Lines on Dr. John Reid 1 73 

Lines on Professor Edward Forbes 177 

The Christian Warfare 183 

Camera Obscura 186 

A Hymn for the Sick-Room 189 



viii CONTENTS. 

Lines to a Young Lady named Mary (No. I.) . . . 192 

Ditto (No. II.) 195 

There shall be no Night there 196 

Christmas Wishes 200 

To a Fly enclosed in Amber 203 

Mermaids' Tears 206 

The Dew Drop 20S 

To a Polyanthus 210 

To a Soap Bubble 212 

Music the best Chronometer 214 

A Fragment 21S 

On the East Wind 221 

Musings 224 

The yEolian Harp 228 

Fairy Rings 229 



TO THE STETHOSCOPE. 

" Tuba minim spargens sonum." — Dies Irce. 

The Stethoscope, as most, probably, of our readers are aware, 
is a short, straight, wooden tube, shaped like a small post- 
horn. By means of it, the medical man can listen to the sounds 
which accompany the movements of the lungs and heart ; and 
as certain mtirmurs accompany the healthy action of these 
organs, and certain others mark their diseased condition, an 
experienced physician can readily discover not only the extent, 
but also the nature of the distemper which afflicts his patient, 
a?id foretell more or less accurately the fate of the latter. 

The Stethoscope has long ceased to excite merely professional 
interest. There are few families to whom it has not proved an 
object of horror and the saddest remembrance, as connected with . 
the loss of dear relatives, though it is but a revealer, not a pro- 
ducer, of physical suffering. 

As an instrument on which the hopes and fears, and one 
may also say the destinies of mankind, so largely hang, it 
appears to present a fit subject for poetic treatment. How far 
the present attempt to carry out this idea is successful, the reader 
must determine. 

B 



POEMS. 



Stethoscope ! thou simple tube, 
Clarion of the yawning tomb, 

Unto me thou seem'st to be 
A very trump of doom. 

Wielding thee, the grave physician 

By the trembling patient stands, 
Like some deftly skilled musician ; 

Strange ! the trumpet in his hands. 
Whilst the sufferer's eyeball glistens 

Full of hope and full of fear, 
Quietly he bends and listens 

With his quick, accustomed ear — 
Waiteth until thou shalt tell 

Tidings of the war within : 
In the battle and the strife, 
Is it death, or is it life, 

That the fought-for prize shall win ? 



TO THE STETHOSCOPE. 

Then thou whisperest in his ear 
Words which only he can hear — 
Words of wo and words of cheer. 
Jubilates thou hast sounded, 

Wild exulting songs of gladness ; 
Misereres have abounded 
Of unutterable sadness. 
Sometimes may thy tones impart 
Comfort to the sad at heart ; 
Oftener, when thy lips have spoken, 
Eyes have w r ept, and hearts have broken. 

Calm and grave physician, thou 

Art like a crowned King ; 
Though there is not round thy brow 

A bauble golden ring, 
As a Czar of many lands, 
Life and Death are in thy hands. 
Sceptre-like, that Stethoscope 

Seemeth in thy hands to wave ; 
B 2 



POEMS. 

As it points, thy subject goeth 
Downwards to the silent grave ; 
Or thy kingly power to save 
Lifts him from a bed of pain, 
Breaks his weary bondage-chain, 
And bids him be a man again. 

Like a PRIEST beside the altar 
Bleeding victims sacrificing, 

Thou dost stand, and dost not falter 
Whatsoe'er their agonising : 

Death lifts up his dooming finger, 

And the Flamen may not linger ! 

Prophet art thou, wise physician, 
Down the future calmly gazing, 
Heeding not the strange amazing 

Features of the ghastly vision. 

Ploat around thee shadowy crowds, 

Living shapes in coming shrouds ; — 



TO THE STETHOSCOPE. 5 

Brides with babes, in dark graves sleeping 

That still sleep which knows no waking ; 
Eyes all bright, grown dim with weeping ; 

Hearts all joy, with anguish breaking ; 
Stalwart men to dust degraded ; 
Maiden charms by worms invaded ; 
Cradle songs as funeral hymns ; 
Mould'ring bones for living limbs ; 
Stately looks, and angel faces, 
Loving smiles, and winning graces, 
Turned to skulls with dead grimaces. 
All the future, like a scroll, 

Opening out, that it may show, 
Like the ancient Prophet's roll, 

Mourning, lamentation, anguish, 

Grief, and every form of wo. 

On a couch with kind gifts laden, 

Flowers around her, books beside her, 
Knowing not what shall betide her, 



POEMS. 

Languishes a gentle maiden. 
Cold and glassy is her bright eye, 

Hectic red her hollow cheek, 
Tangled the neglected ringlets, 

Wan the body, thin and weak ; 
Like thick cords, the swelling blue veins 

Shine through the transparent skin ; 
Day by day some fiercer new pains 

Vex without, or war within : 
Yet she counts it but a passing, 

Transient, accidental thing ; 
Were the summer only here, 

It would healing bring ! 
And with many a fond deceit 

Tries she thus her fears to cheat : 
" When the cowslip's early bloom 
Quite hath lost its rich perfume ; 
When the violet's fragrant breath 
Tasted have the lips of death ; 
When the snowdrop long hath died, 



TO THE STETHOSCOPE. 7 

And the primrose at its side 

In its grave is sleeping ; 
When the lilies all are over, 
And amongst the scented clover 

Merry lambs are leaping ; 
When the swallow's voice is ringing 

Through the echoing azure dome, 

Saying, ' From my far-off home 
I have come, my wild way winging 
O'er the waves, that I might tell, 
As of old, I love ye well. 
Hark ! I sound my silver bell ; 
All the happy birds are singing 
From each throat 
A merry note, 
Welcome to my coming bringing.' 
When that happy time shall be, 
From all pain and anguish free, 
I shall join you, full of life and full of glee." 



POEMS. 

Then, thou fearful Stethoscope ! 
Thou dost seem thy lips to ope, 
Saying, " Bid farewell to hope : 
I foretell thee days of gloom, 
I pronounce thy note of doom — 
Make thee ready for the tomb ! 
Cease thy weeping, tears avail not, 
Pray to God thy courage fail not. 
He who knoweth no repenting, 
Sympathy or sad relenting, 
Will not heed thy sore lamenting — 
Death, who soon will be thy guide 
To his couch, will hold thee fast ; 
As a lover at thy side 
Will be with thee to the last, 
Longing for thy latest gasp, 
When within his iron grasp 
As his bride he will thee clasp." 

Shifts the scene. The Earth is sleeping. 



TO THE STETHOSCOPE. 

With her weary eyelids closed, 

Hushed by darkness into slumber ; 
Whilst in burning ranks disposed, 
High above, in countless number, 
All the heavens in radiance steeping, 
Watch and ward 
And loving guard 
O'er her rest the stars are keeping. 

Often has the turret-chime 
Of the hasty flight of time 

Warning utterance given ; 
And the stars are growing dim 
On the grey horizon's rim, 

In the dawning light of heaven. 
But there sits, the Bear out-tiring, 
As if no repose requiring, 
One pale youth, all unattending 
To the hour; with bright eye bending 
O'er the loved and honoured pages, 



POEMS. 

Where are writ the words of sages, 
And the heroic deeds and thoughts of far 
distant ages. 

Closed the book, 
With gladsome look 
Still he sits and visions weaveth. 
Fancy with her wiles deceiveth ; 
Days to come with glory gildeth ; 

And though all is bleak and bare, 
With perversest labour buildeth 

Wondrous castles in the air. 
He who shall possess each palace, 
Fortune has for him no malice, 

Only countless joys in store : 
Over rim, 
And mantling brim, 

His full cup of life shall pour. 
Whilst he dreams, 
The future seems 



TO THE STETHOSCOPE. n 

Like the present spread before him : 
Nought to fear him, 
All to cheer him, 

Coming greatness gathers o'er him ; 
And into the ear of Night 
Thus he tells his visions bright : — 

" I shall be a glorious Poet ! 
All the wond'ring world shall know it, 
Listening to melodious hymning ; 
I shall write immortal songs. 

" I shall be a Painter limning 
Pictures that shall never fade ; 
Round the scenes I have portrayed 

Shall be gathered gazing throngs : 
Mine shall be a Titian's palette ! 

" I shall wield a Phidias' mallet ! 
Stone shall grow to life before me, 



i POEMS. 

Looks of love shall hover o'er me, 
Beauty shall in heart adore me 

That I make her charms immortal. 

Now my foot is on the portal 
Of the house of Fame : 
Soon her trumpet shall proclaim 
Even this now unhonoured name, 

And the doings of this hand 

Shall be known in every land. 

" Music ! my bewitching pen 

Shall enchant the souls of men. 

Aria, fugue, and strange sonata, 

Opera, and gay cantata, 

Through my brain, 

In linked train, 

Hark ! I hear them winding go, 

Now with half-hushed whisper stealing, 

Now in full-voiced accent pealing, 

Ringing loud, and murmuring low. 



TO THE STETHOSCOPE. 13 

Scarcely can I now refrain, 
Whilst these blessed notes remain, 
From pouring forth one undying angel- 
strain. 

" Eloquence ! my lips shall speak 
As no living lips have spoken — 

Advocate the poor and weak, 

Plead the cause of the heart-broken ; 

Listening senates shall be still, 

I shall wield them at my will, 

And this little tongue, the earth 

With its burning words shall fill. 

u Ye stars which bloom like flowers on high, 
Ye flowers which are the stars of earth, 

Ye rocks that deep in darkness lie, 

Ye seas that with a loving eye 

Gaze upwards on the azure sky, 
Ye waves that leap with mirth ; 



H POEMS. 

Ye elements in constant strife, 

Ye creatures full of bounding life : 

I shall unfold the hidden laws, 

And each unthought-of wondrous cause, 

That waked ye into birth. 
A high-priest I, by Nature taught 

Her mysteries to reveal : 
The secrets that she long hath sought 

In darkness to conceal 
Shall have their mantle rent away, 
And stand uncovered to the light of day. 
O Newton ! thou and I shall be 

Twin brothers then ! 
Together linked, our names shall sound 

Upon the lips of men." 

Like the sullen heavy boom 

Of a signal gun at sea, 
When athwart the gathering gloom, 
Awful rocks are seen to loom 



TO THE STETHOSCOPE. 15 

Frowning on the lee ; 
Like the muffled kettle-drum, 

With the measured tread, 
And the wailing trumpet's hum, 
Telling that a soldier's dead ; 
Like the deep cathedral bell 
Tolling forth its doleful knell, 
Saying, " Now the strife is o'er, 
Death hath won a victim more " — 
So, thou doleful Stethoscope ! 

Thou dost seem to say, 
" Hope thou on against all hope, 

Dream thy life away : 

Little is there now to spend ; 

And that little's near an end. 

Saddest sign of thy condition 

Is thy bounding wild ambition ; 

Only dying eyes can gaze on so bright 
a vision. 

Ere the spring again is here. 



1 6 POEMS. 

Low shall be thy head, 
Vainly shall thy mother dear, 
Strive her breaking heart to cheer, 
Vainly strive to hide the tear 

Oft in silence shed. 
Pangs and pains are drawing near, 
To plant with thorns thy bed : 
Lo ! they come, a ghastly troop, 

Like fierce vultures from afar ; 
Where the bleeding quarry is, 

There the eagles gathered are ! 
Ague chill, and fever burning, 
Soon away, but swift returning, 
In unceasing alternation ; 

Cold and clammy perspiration, 
Heart with sickening palpitation, 

Panting, heaving respiration ; 
Aching brow, and wasted limb, 
Troubled brain, and vision dim, 
Hollow cough like dooming knell, 



TO THE STETHOSCOPE. 17 

Saying, ' Bid the world farewell ! ' 
Parched lips, and quenchless thirst, 
Everything as if accurst ; 
Nothing to the senses grateful ; 
All things to the eye grown hateful ; 
Flowers without the least perfume ; 
Gone from everything its bloom ; 
Music but an idle jangling ; 
Sweetest tongues but weary wrangling ; 
Books, which were most dearly cherished ?1 
Come to be, each one, disrelished ; 
Clearest plans grown all confusion ;. 
Kindest friends but an intrusion : 

Weary day, and weary night — 
Weary night, and weary day ; 

Would God it were the morning light ! 
Would God the light were passed away ! 
And when all is dark and dreary, 
And thou art all worn and weary, 
When thy heart is sad and cheerless, 
c 



18 POEMS. 

And thine eyes are seldom tearless, 
When thy very soul is weak, 
Satan shall his victim seek. 
Day by day he will be by thee, 
Night by night will hover nigh thee, 
With accursed wiles will try thee, 
Soul and spirit seek to buy thee. 
Faithfully he'll keep his tryst, 
Tell thee that there is no Christ, 
No long-suffering gracious Father, 
But an angry tyrant rather ; 
No benignant Holy Spirit, 
Nor a heaven to inherit, 
Only darkness, desolation, 
Hopelessness of thy salvation, 
And at best annihilation. 

" God with His great power defend thee ! 
Christ with His great love attend thee ! 
May the blessed Spirit lend thee 



TO THE STETHOSCOPE. 19 

Strength to bear, and all needful succour 
send thee ! " 

Close we here. My eyes behold, 
As upon a sculpture old, 
Life all warm and Death all cold 
Struggling which alone shall hold — 
Sign of woe, or sign of hope ! — 
To his lips the Stethoscope. 

But the strife at length is past, 
They have made a truce at last, 
And the settling die is cast. 
Life shall sometimes sound a blast, 
But it shall be but " Tantivy," 
Like a hurrying war reveillie, 

Or the hasty notes that levy 
Eager horse, and man, and hound, 

On an autumn morn, 
When the sheaves are off the ground, 
C 2 



20 POEMS. 

And the echoing bugle-horn 
Sends them racing o'er the scanty stubble 

corn. 
But when I a-hunting go, 

I, King Death, 
I that funeral trump shall blow 

With no bated breath. 
Long drawn out, and deep and slow 
Shall the wailing music go ; 
Winding horn shall presage meet 
Be of coming winding-sheet, 
And all living men shall know 
That beyond the gates of gloom, 
In my mansions of the tomb, 
I for every one keep room, 
And shall hold and house them all, till 
the very Day of Doom. 

G. W. 



THE WINGS OF THE DOVE AND 
THE EAGLE. 

" Oh that I had wings like a dove, for then would I fly 
away, and be at rest!'''' — Psalm lv. 6. 

" They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength : 
they shall mount up with wings as eagles ; they shall run, and 
not be weary ; and they shall walk, and not -faint? — Isa. xl. 31. 

As I lay upon my bed, 

Weeping and complaining, 
Turning oft my weary head, 

Hope and help disdaining ; 
Lo ! before mine eyes there stood, 
Vision of an ancient wood 
Full of happy birds pursuing 

Each the other with keenest zest, 
And I heard the plaintive cooing 

Issuing from the turtle's nest, 



POEMS. 

Till I murmured at the sight, 
And forgot God's high behest ; 

" Had I but your wings, I might 
Fly away and be at rest." 

Then the low, sweet plaintive cooing 
Of the fond maternal birds, 

Seemed itself with thoughts imbuing, 
And at length flowed forth in words. 

" Plumes of doves and fluttering wings 
Are but vain and feeble things, 

Timidly the air they fan ; 
Scarcely would they serve to raise thee, 
Need the truth at all amaze thee, 

O'er this earth a little span. 
Look thou there : " and lo ! an eagle, 

From his nest amidst the stars, 
Stood before me, with his regal 

Front, and venerable scars. 



THE DOVE AND THE EAGLE, 23 

In a moment, wide extending 

His great wings, (so seemed my dream,) 
He was in the air ascending 

With a wild, exulting scream. 
Fiercest winds, and rude blasts blowing, 

Could not stop his bold careering, 
Higher still and higher going 

He kept ever upwards steering, 
Till I lost him in the zenith, 

Far above the mid-day sun, 
Where he seemed like one that winneth 

Rest in heaven when work is done. 

" Judge thou then," the voice said, "whether 
This or that's the better thing — 

Rainbow-tinted dove's soft feather, 
Or the eagle's ruffled wing ? " 

" That's the better ! "— " Rest then still ; 
In thy heart of hearts abase thee ; 

Lose thy will in God's great will, 



2 4 POEMS, 

By-and-by He will upraise thee, 
In His own good time and season, 

When 'tis meet that thou shouldst go, 
And will show thee fullest reason 

Why He kept thee here below. 
Wings of doves shall not be given ; 
But to lift thee up to heaven 
Thou shalt have entire dominion 
O'er the eagle's soaring pinion, 
Thou shalt mount to God's own eyrie 

And become a crowned saint, 
Thou shalt run and not be weary, 

Walk, and never faint ; 
Therefore, utter no complaint." 

Now I lie upon my bed, 

Saying, " Be it even so, 
I will wait in faith and hope 

Till the eagle's wings shall grow." 

G. W. 



A SABBATH MORNING; 

IN THE COUNTRY. 

How manifold, oh Lord our God, 

Thy works of wisdom be ! 
How wonderful, how merciful, 

Thy doings which we see ! 
With one acclaim they praise Thy name- 

A large rejoicing band, 
The things in air, and sea, and sky, 

The creatures on the land. 
The birds join hymns amid the leaves 

(One up beside the sun) ; 
With pleasant lay no less than they 

The lightsome brooks do run ; 
A gentle breeze amid the trees 

Just sounds above the calm, 



26 POEMS. 

And waves astir upon the main 

Roll up a distant psalm. 
Yea, things around that have no sound 

Do also language raise, 
They shine, they thrill with deep delight, 

They cannot choose but praise : 
The holy hush of sky above, 

The sunny light, the hills, 
The little crowd of calm white cloud, 

The flowers beside the rills. 
'Tis nature that before her King 

Both fears and doth rejoice, 
She partly holds her breath in awe, 

And partly utters voice. 
Thus in this wide and arched scene — 

As in a church — to-day 
I hear the creatures of the Lord 

Together praise and pray. 
Lord, why should this not ever be ? 

Why should a tempest wake, 



A SABBA TH MORNING. 27 

JZ 

\ A cloud, a night, a death, a pain, 
This choir and brightness break ? 
And why in us should sinful thought 

Disturb our adoration — 
Why should not Thou have glory meet 
From all Thy fair creation ? 

Yet let us cease all pining thought 

Amid this placid hour, 
Our spirits shall receive in joy 

Its sweet and serious power ; 
A holy Presence all about 

Amid the light doth dwell, 
As if the glory stole from Heaven 

To commune visible. 
The shadow of the Almighty wing 

Is hung all nature o'er, 
It needs must be such souls as we 

Shall tremble and adore. 
Within my depths of soul I kneel, 



28 POEMS. 

God standeth me so near ; 
He looketh nigh upon my eye, 
He soundeth in my ear. 

And lo ! my spirit all elate, 

All nerved and winged with love, 
In buoyance irresistible 

Is carried up above ; 
From this, the lower, outer court, 

It pierces to the Place 
Where God in everlasting beams 

Doth cover up His face ; 
Before the Throne, before the Throne, 

It shuts its throbbing gaze ; 
It falls, with heart weighed down in bliss, 

And tongue o'erwhelmed in praise ! 
/ soar into the Heaven above, 

His glory here doth fall ; 
To the earth and me, He, only He 

Is God and All in All ! 

J. M. R. 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH. 

AN EGYPTIAN POEM. 

The following poem, written by George Wilson at inter- 
vals of leisure, had its origin, as his papers inform us, in the 
fact that a bulbous root, found on the breast of the mummy of an 
Egyptian princess, grezv again when planted. Pondering this 
fact, interesting to him as a man of science, and permitting it 
to develop itself in his imaginative mind in all the range of its 
suggestions, he constructed the poem. ic I call the rhyme]' he 
says in one of his letters, u i The Sleep of the Hyacinth : ' it is 
a ?nosaic on life, death, and resurrection, natural arid spiri- 
tual." Had it been finished according to the author's plan, it 
was to have consisted of six poi'tions, entitled respectively as 
follows : — 

I. The Garden. 
II. The Queen and the Flowers. 

III. The Death of the Queen. 

IV. The Entombment of the Queen and the 

Flower. 
V. The Sleep. 
VI. The Awakening. 

Of those intended portions the sixth is totally wanting; of the 
second only a few lines exist, suggesting the subject which 
the author meant to expand ; and both the fourth and fifth 
portions are incomplete, a gap, here and there, showing where 
the atcthor purposed to insert stanzas of connexion. Allowiiig 
for this incompleteness , and for the absence of corrections 
for which there are suggestions in the MS,, the Poem will, it 
is believed, be welco??ied as a characteristic production of the 
writers mind. 



3<> POEMS. 



I. THE GARDEN. 

The ancient Egyptian garden wherein the Hyacinth grew. 

THREE thousand years ! three thousand years ! 
Three thousand long and weary years 
Have ceased to be oppressed with fears; 
Have wept their latest, bitter tears ; 
Have drowned the echo of the cheers 

That stirred their life awhile : 
Have hushed to stillest rest their noise ; 
Have left to other years their toys ; 
Have lost the memory of their joys, 

And long forgot to smile ; 
Have cast away their wings, and fled 
To join the ghosts of centuries dead 

That track the steps of Time, 
Since, watered by the abounding Nile 

In Egypt's favoured clime, 
A Garden stretched where now the sand 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH. 

Has ruined that delightful land — 
A Garden such as mortal eye 

Has never seen on Northern shore ; 

So plenteous were the flowers it bore, 
So proudly did its trees on high 
Lift their crowned foreheads to the sky, 

And dare the burning sun 
To blast them with his fiery eye, 

To bid them his caresses shun, 
Or make them wither, droop, or die. 
Their glorious beauty could defy 

The fervour of his ardent gaze ; 

Their tints were borrowed from his rays ; 

They loved to meet his noontide blaze ; 
He could not do them ill ; 
For round about their feet were swathed 
Thick, mossy, verdant carpets, bathed 
In moisture spread by many a rill 
Which, winding from the teeming river, 
Flowed in refreshing streams for ever. 



32 POEMS. 

The palm was there with fluttering leaves 

The warm air fanning ; 
The sycamore with outspread boughs, 

Like arches overspanning ; 
And all between, 
Enrobed in green, 
Myrtles and fragrant shrubs adorned the 

scene. 
Among their leaves was many a nest, 
From which, as from its night of rest 

Each happy bird awoke, 

A hymn of gladness broke, 
And midst the sound of rustling wings, 

Rose their Hosannah 

To the King of kings. 
High over these the tall banana 
Lifted its head, like some Sultana 

With glory crowned : 
And through its leafy screen, 
Tinting the light of green, 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH. 33 

Spread a refreshing coolness all around, 
And with its grateful shadow curtained o'er 
the ground. 

The pomegranate upon the grass 
Showered down its blood-red petals, 
Like fluttering chips of burnished metals. 
With armour bright of glowing brass, 
And wings of gauze in colours shining, 
Like ores which have through much refining, 
And many a process come, 
Hovered around the citron tree, 

Filling the air with drowsy hum, 
The broad-winged butterfly, the busy bee, 
And mailed beetles many a one, 
Idling the hours, 
Among the flowers, 
From dawn of day, till set the evening sun. 
Round the thick boughs and gnarled stems, 
Where'er its clasping tendrils could entwine, 
D 



34 POEMS. 

Laden with clusters like dark ruby gems, 
Wound like a serpent the embracing vine, 

And climbing to the topmost spray, 

Out of the cunning fox's way, 
Let its ripe bunches peep, out from among 

the leaves, 
Like birds nestled in nooks of shady cottage- 
eaves. 
The golden spheres of the orange-trees 
Were tossed about by the playful breeze, 

And bowled along the lawn : 
The blossoms pale of the almond shed 
Their hoary honours around the head 
Of the parent stem when all else was dead, 

And like flakes of snow on the ground were 
strawn. 
The lemon flowers grew dim of sight, 
And closed their drowsy eyes at night, 

But opened them wide at the dawn. 
The burly gourd, and the melon round, 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH. 35 

Lazily rolled upon the ground ; 
And beneath their leaves the cucumber wound,. 
Like a snake about on a bird to bound. 
The plum-trees laden with many years, 
Mourned their old age in trickling tears 

Of balsam and of gum ; 

And noisy chatter and happy hum 
Showed how the busy birds made merry 
On the nectarine's cheek, and each juicy berry, 
And drank the blood of the crimson cherry. 

And many another tree was there : 
The acacia with its yellow hair, 

The fig-tree and the lime ; 
The fairest things appeared more fair 
In that delightful clime, 

Where piercing north-blasts never blow, 

Nor chills the bleak east wind, 
Where falleth never hail or snow 
To leave its blight behind, 
D 2 



36 POEMS. 

But an eternal summer breathes 

And from a horn of plenty fills, 
And with a crown of beauty wreathes 
The Everlasting Hills. 
From every clime and every shore, 
Whatever choicest plant it bore, 
By tributary nation sent, 
Gave to that Garden ornament. 1 
A thousand stately flowers stood up, 
With chiselled stem and carved cup, 
With sculptured urns ; with hanging bells ; 
With trumpet-tubes ; with honey-cells 
Wherein the bee found endless wells 

Of nectar to be sipped, 
And even the wasp forgot his malice, 
When quaffing at each brimming chalice, 

And sheathed his sword, with poison tipped. 
Some bore their heads like butterflies, 



J Wilkinson's Ancient Egyptians (two vol. ed.), vol. i. 
p. 57 ; also, vol. ii. p. 36, 



7 HE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH 37 

With plumes and fluttering wings, 
And others wore rare ornaments, 

Like crowns of queens and kings. 
And some spread out like banners 

Hung o'er a dungeon-keep, 
And others were all hollowed out 

And chased like goblets deep, 
In which the drunken gnat could sleep 

His day's debauch away, 
And many a stealthy worm would creep 

And make the buds his prey. 
The bulrush grew at the water's edge, 
With the paper-reed and the sword-leaved 

sedge, 
Each with its root stuck down like a wedge 

In the bed of the marshy pool ; 

And wherever the waters were clear and 
cool, 
They were fringed by the oleander, 

Whose rosy petals love to be 



3& POEMS. 

Where they can their own beauty see. 
And blow where rills meander : 

Or at the side of some still lake, 
Where sea and sky 
Gaze eye to eye, 

And of each other's charms partake. 
The rainbow-tinted iris, 

And the slender asphodels, 
Nodded gaily to each other 

With a graceful, easy motion ; 
And pouted out their lips, 

Like those curious Eastern shells 
That have palaces to dwell in 

At the bottom of the ocean. 
The narcissus gazed with wonder 

On his beauty in the stream ; 
And between his leaves and under 

Glowed the crocus' golden gleam : 
And the tulip's deep-mouthed pitcher 

Stood erect upon her stem, 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH. 39 

For she knew her flowers were richer, 

Though no fragrance rose from them, 
Than the petals of the wild thyme 

That nestled at her feet, 
And the marjoram or lavender, 

Though their breath is very sweet. 
The poppy with his scarlet plumes 

Was like a soldier tall, 
But the tallest was the hollyhock, 

For he rose above them all ; 
And with trumpets stood the columbine, 

As if to sound a call 
At which the flowers should wake from rest, 

And into ranks should fall, 
As the bugle makes the soldier start, 

And the steed neigh in his stall. 
The floating white cups of the lotus lilies 

With all their bravery of leaves, were 
there ; 
The yellow petals of the daffodillies 



40 POEMS. 

Breathed forth their perfume to the passing 
air; 
And clustered chalices of amaryllis, 

Some delicately fair, 

Stood robed in white, 

And others rosy bright, 

Crowned on the summit of their stately 
stems 

With crimson flowers like queenly diadems. 
The dark-eyed violet, sending 

Forth its fragrance, when the wind blows, 
The lowly lily of the valley bending 

At the feet of the rose. 
The rose herself, stately and tall 
Over them all 
As a queen reigning, 

Lowlier things and their homage disdaining ; 
The heliotrope for ever turning 
With eager eye to meet the burning 
Glances of the god of day : 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH. 41 

The towering forms, the long array 

Of sunflowers with their starry faces ; 

The cistus with its fleeting graces ; 

And other bright flowers 

Fanned by the winds, and unharmed by the 

showers, 
Filled with their beauty the far-spreading 

bowers. 



II. THE QUEEN AND THE FLOWERS. 



A young Egyptian princess, daughter of one of the Pharaohs, 
the Queen of the Garden, walks in it, in the fulness of life. 
The vision is but a glimpse, for this part of the poem is un- 
finished. 



WITHIN the garden lived a maid, 

Of noble figure as became a Queen ; 
A gentle, graceful and majestic creature 
With beauty written on each noble feature, 



42 POEMS. 

And wearing such a regal mien 
That they who watched it, said, 

" This is no queen whom man has crowned, 
But one whom God has made." 



III. THE DEATH OF THE QUEEN, 

Death visits the Egyptian Eden; the Princess feels his 
approach, shrinks despairingly, invokes help from gods and 
men, and dies. 

Within the earliest Eden 

The tempter sought his prey : 
From every later scene of bliss 
He tries to steal the bliss away, 
And oftentimes prevails. 
For doubt, and woe, and want, and fear, 

And grief, and guilt, and sin 
Are ever ready, standing near 

To tempt the tempter in. 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH 43 

And neither youth, nor love, nor hope, 

Nor beauty's fading flower, 
Nor childhood's joy, nor manhood's strength, 
Its purpose or its power, 
Can keep away 
The evil day, 
Or long avert the hour 
When grief must come. 
The smiter striketh home : 
The cup of sorrow circleth round, 
And though we quail and shrink, 
To pass it by 
No one may try, 
But all must bend and drink. 
For Christ's dear flock 
There doth remain, 
A place of rest 

From toil and pain, 
And God himself on high, 
Away from every eye, 



44 POEMS, 

Shall wipe off every tear ; 

But we have no abiding city here. 

A morning came : all looked serenely bright, 
As the Queen walked forth in the early air ; 
The sun unrisen to his mid-day height, 

Showed but the forelocks of his golden 
hair. 
Unearthly beauty spread on all around 

A glory she had never seen before ; 
Death, who keeps treading an impartial round, 
Seemed to have passed the happy garden 
o'er. 
All was so full of life, of love, of God, 

All sang so joyously His kindly care, 
From the small mosses nestling in the sod, 
To the great eagles winging through the 
air. 
" Oh God ! they praise thee," sang her happy 
voice, 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH 45 

* I cannot hear them, Thou dost hear them 

all, 
We all are Thine ; in Thee we all rejoice, 

Giver of good gifts, on Thy name we call." 
So prayed the Queen, and countless happy 

days 
Their long perspective spread before her 

gaze, 
Like sculptured sphinxes, daughters of one 

mother, 
With sister-faces, each one like the other, 
Serenely stretched, with sweet looks glancing 

o'er 
The long space leading to the temple-door, 
Who seem unending, and who only cease 
Where the gate opens, and the soul finds 

peace : 
So gazed the Queen. But lo ! a little cloud 
Rose from the sea, shaped like a mummy 

shroud. 



46 POEMS. 

The mid-day came ; the sun was red as blood ; 

A dreary horror filled the air ; 
The birds sought covert in the thickest wood, 

And the fierce lion crouched within his lair. 
Death had bethought him of the happy spot, 

That smiled so sweetly to the morning sun ; 
" It mocketh me: its beauty I will blot, 

Its crown of glory shall be all undone." 
He spared the flowers ; he spared the leafy 
trees ; 

His mark was on them pointing to their 
prime ; 
The merry birds, the murmuring bees, 

They could be his at any time. 
He left a footmark here and there, 
But knowing all was his, he could afford to 
spare. 

With shadowless and soundless tread 

He sought the bower where sat the Queen ; 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH. 47 

Her heart oppressed with nameless dread, 
And wondering at the changed scene : 

" I come for thee. Doff all thy pride, 
I have no time for seeking or for suing ; 

Thy place is ready, thou must be my 
bride ; 
This is my way of winning and of wooing ; 

The sun bends downwards ; when the stars 
arise 

Prepare to meet me ; thou must be my 

prize." 
* * * * * 

" Oh ! thou that sleep'st in Phife's Holy 
Isle, 

Oh ! great Osiris with the gentle heart, 
May I behold thy gracious smile! 

Oh ! give me with thyself a part 
In those delightful regions of the blest, 
Where thou to sinless spirits grantest rest. 



48 POEMS. 

Ah me ! but who shall, sinless, say 

" I come to claim the meed of good works 
done ? 
Search me and try me ; in the balance weigh; 
Blot of transgression on my soul is none." 
Or who shall, disembodied, throw 
Himself on certain bliss where all perhaps 
is woe ? 

" Oh, God of gods ! if such there be, 
And that there is my conscience tells, 

How shall I justify myself to Thee, 
Being in whom perfection dwells ? 

" I see the stern, relentless judges seated 

In solemn circle in the halls below ; 
The summons dread the herald has repeated, 
And my distracted spirit fears to go 
Where, in my utmost need, 
No one for me will plead, 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH. 49 

Or intercessor use prevailing prayer ; 
Where altars do not stand, 
Or victims bleed, 
Or smoke of incense fill the grateful air ; 
But in the gloomy land 
Is kept the record of each sinful deed. 

" The impartial balance on its axis moving ; 
The needle quivering on the swaying 
beam ; 
The scale, swift rising, and as swift descend- 
ing 
All as if here before me seem : 
The avengers, waiting for the heart's last 
proving, 
The awful guardian with his eye of hate, 
The observing God his body bending 

To watch the action of the shifting weight, 
And the despairing spirit's cry ' Too late ! ' 
As the great judge, his voice extending, 
E 



So POEMS. 

Speaks till the vaults reverberate the 

sound, — 
% Heaven on thee closes her unwilling gate, 
Thou hast been weighed, and wanting 

found/ l 

" Oh, God of gods ! if such there be, 
And that there is my conscience tells, 

How shall I justify myself to Thee, 
Being in whom perfection dwells ? 

" Each long-forgotten crime, 

That seemed 

Like something dreamed, 
All blotted out by time ; 

So that I deemed 
It was no part of me ; 
Like hieroglyphic flashing in the sun 
Proclaims, ' From evil thou hast done 

Thou never canst be free.' 

1 Wilkinson, vol. ii. p. 381. 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH. 51 

Legions of sins around my bed, 
In fierce, vindictive, terrible array, 
Gnash with their teeth, and scoff, and say, 
* Sin hath its hour 
Of might and power : 
Long have we waited : now is no delay. 
They call for thee ! the impatient dead, 
And we shall guide thee on the way : 
No one shall fail when God will call, 
Thou shalt be marshalled by us all, 
And we will win thee on the Judgment 
Day/ " 

She started up, and half arose, 

As if to battle with her foes, 

And wildly round the air she struck 

Like one who fights when sore beset, 
Then gazed with an imploring look, 

Which they who saw could ne'er forget, 
So plainly seemed that glance to say, 
E 2 



52 POEMS. 

" In this, my hour of dark dismay, 
Can ye not render other help than only weep 
and pray ? " 

" Oh, God of gods ! if such there be, 
And that there is my conscience tells, 

How shall I justify myself to Thee, 
Being in whom perfection dwells ? 

" No Past rolls back behind Thy throne, 

No Future spreads before, 
A Present, like a boundless sea, 

On no side finds a shore. 
The universe would rock and reel, 

If change should pass on Thee, 
What Thou hast been in eldest time, 

Thou must through endless ages be. 
The holiness that once was Thine 

Cannot in Eons pass away ; 
With guilt it never can combine ; 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH. 53 

" As yesterday Thou art to-day. 
But is there not some wondrous way, 

Some all unthought of, glorious plan, 
By which, though holy, Thou may'st say 

1 I can be just, yet pardon man ? • 

" ' Have I not heard a legend wild 1 
Of one who, when the years roll on, 

Shall come to earth — a woman's child — 
And yet thine only Son ; 

Who shall to Thee a ransom pay, 

And wash the guilt of man away ? ' ' 

She glanced around, and as she ceased, 
Quick beckoned to a thoughtful priest : 
" Tell me," she said, " this wondrous tale, 
Tell me, ye priests, if it ye knew, — 
My strength and courage faint and fail, — 
I swear you, speak me true 

1 Wilkinson, vol. i. p. 331. 



54 POEMS. 

As ye are priests of Him on high, 
And as ye shall on deathbeds lie, 

Be done with secret things ; 

The daughter of a race of kings 
Lays her commands on you." 

The priests looked grave, but nothing said ; 
They deemed it a delirious dream, 

Where strangest thoughts together wed, 
And phantasies and things that are 
No longer with each other war, 
But all as real seem. 

She read their looks, and bowed her head ; 
She crossed her hands, and lowly said, — 
" I kneel before Thee in the dust, 

Dread God of gods, and King of kings ; 
Slay me, if Justice say thou must, 

But I will hide beneath Thy wings, 
And Thou shalt be my only trust." 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH. 55 

All hushed she then, as if to hear 
Some message whispered in her ear, 
All still she lay, as if to see 
Some vision of Divinity. 

But Death was fiercely beating 

At life's shattered gate, 
And scoffed at all entreating 

That he awhile should wait. 
And senselessness was stealing 

O'er the wearied, aching brain, 
And every pulse and feeling 

Were numbed by cruel pain. 
The ear was dull, and dim the eye, 
Nor message seemed from Him on high. 

Then rose upon the startled air 

An awful cry of wild despair, 

Which made the trembling hearers start, 

And chilled the life-blood in each heart. 



56 POEMS. 

But whilst they stood with tortured ear, 
Prepared again that sound to hear, 
Lo ! on the queenly face a change 
Had passed, unutterably strange : 
The look of pain and woe was gone, 
The brow like polished marble shone, 
The gleaming eyes were fixed above, 
With a fond look of awe and love. 
The hands were raised as if to clasp 
Something beloved in their grasp ; 
The quivering lips essayed awhile 
To speak, but only reached a smile ; 
Then all was still : upon the breast 
The folded arms sank down to rest ; 
The dark eyelashes, like portcullis spears, 
Closed fast for ever o'er the gate of tears. 
And by their looks the watchers knew 
That each the same conclusion drew ; 
But no one spake, for all amazed 
Upon the wondrous vision gazed. 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH 57 

Silence came down on Pharaoh's pile, 
Save in that chamber you might hear 
Low stifled sobbing and the dropping tear, 
i\nd far-off ripple of the murmuring Nile. 



IV. THE ENTOMBMENT OF THE QUEEN AND THE FLOWER. 

There is mourning in the land of Pharaoh over the dead 
Princess, whose swathing and entombment, Egyptian-wise, 
with the Hyacinth-bulb on her breast, are described — the 
description leading to a glimpse of the Royal Necropolis, or 
Burying-place, with its rows of the dead who had preceded 
her, and, then, by transition, to an address of the Mummy to 
its departed soul. 

Woe was in the land of Egypt, 

Grief was on the monarch's throne ; 
Aged Pharaoh, sad and childless, 

Uttered sob and uttered groan ; 
Death had won his dearest treasure, 

Desolate he stood alone. 
From his hand he thrust the sceptre, 

From his brow he plucked the crown ; 



58 POEMS. 

Royal robe and priestly vesture, 

Warrior sword, he flung them down ; 

Sackcloth round his loins was girt, 
Ashes on his head were strown. 

Woe was in the land of Egypt, 

On the loftiest and the least ; 
Woe on king and woe on people, 

Bond and freeman, prince and priest ; 
Day and night they uttered wailings, 

Lamentations never ceased. 

At length the king rose, and he lifted his 

head, 
And he spake but three words, " Bury my 

dead." 
Her delicate body with water they bathed, 

And they combed the long locks of her hair, 
And her marble-like limbs with linen they 

swathed, 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH 59 

Imbued with rich spices, and unguents rare 
To keep off the breath of the envious air. 

They folded her hands for their age-long 
prayer ; 
They laid on her breast, 
For its age-long rest, 
The bulb of the hyacinth root ; 
And, with pious intent and reverend care, 
They wound from the head to the foot 
The long linen bandages, crossing them round, 
Till each motionless limb in its vestment was 
bound, 
And she lay folded up, 
Like a flower in its cup 
Which has never awakened, and knows but 

repose, 
Like the bud never blown of the sleeping 

white rose. 
So they embalmed that lovely form, 



60 POEMS. 

And made that queenly face immortal, 
Shutting from his prey the worm, 
And barring close the admitting portal ; 
And Decay could not enter. 

The sycamore-tree in the garden fell, 

She would love it they thought in the 

tomb; 
They hollowed it out, a gloomy deep cell, 
A dark, dreary lodge where no queen would 

dwell, 
But she made no complaint, it suited her 

well ; 
There was small enough space, and yet 

wide enough room ; 

The dead are content with a narrow freehold, 

And they are not afraid of the gloom. 
***** 

There were no tossing arms 
And no aching heads ; 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH. 61 

All their pillows were soft 

And downy their beds. 
None weary and wakeful lay 

Counting each hour, 
Missing the drowsy juice 

Wrung from the poppy-flower. 
None looked for the light ; 

None longed for the day, 
Grew tired of their couches, 

Or wished them away. 

The babe lay hushed to a calmer rest 

Than ever mother's loving breast 

Or fondling arms in life had given, 

Or lullaby that rose to heaven 

And brought the angels down to guard the 

cradle-nest. 
The husband and the wife, 
As once in life, 
Slept side by side, 



62 POEMS. 

Undreaming of the cares the morning might 

betide. 
The bridegroom and the bride 
Their fill of love might take ; 
None kept the lovers now apart ; 
Yet neither to the other spake, 
And heart leapt not to heart : 
Death had wooed both, 

And come in room 
To him of loving bride, 

To her of fond bridegroom ; 
Yet they slept sweetly 

With closed eyes, 
And knew not Death had cheated both, 
And won the prize. 

None knelt to the king, yet none were ashamed ; 
None prayed unto God, yet no one blamed ; 
None weighed out silver or counted gold ; 
Nothing was bought, and nothing sold ; 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH. 63 

None would give, and none would take, 
No one answered, and no one spake. 
There were crowds on crowds, and yet no din, 
Sinner on sinner, and yet no sin ; 
Poverty was not, nor any wealth, 
None knew sickness, and none knew health ; 
None felt blindness, and none saw light, 
There were millions of eyes and yet no sight ; 
Millions of ears and yet no hearing, 
Millions of hearts, and yet no fearing ; 
None knew joy, and none knew sorrow, 
Yesterday was the same as to-day and to- 
morrow. 
None felt hunger, none felt thirst, 
No one blessed, and no one cursed, 
None wasted the hours, and none saved time, 
None did any good, or committed crime ; 
Grief and woe, and guilt and care, 
Fiery passion and sullen despair, 
Were all unknown and unthought of there : 



64 POEMS. 

Joy and love, and peace and bliss, 
Holy affection and kindly kiss, 
Were strangers there to all, I wiss. 
The soldier laid aside his spear, 

And was a man of peace ; 
The slave forgot to fear, 

And sighed not for release ; 
The widow dried her tear 

And thought not of her lord's decease. 
The subtle brain 

Of the curious priest, 
To strive and strain 

With thought had ceased. 
Lips that like angels' sung 

Moved not the air, 
And the eloquent tongue 

Lay dumb in its lair, 
Behind the closed gate of the teeth : 

The flute-like throat 

Uttered no note, 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH. 65 

And the bosom swelled not with the 
breath. 
No mourning nor crying, 
No sobbing nor sighing, 
None weeping over the dead or the dying 

Were heard on the way : 
No singing, no laughing, 
No joying, no daffing, 

No reveller's glee when carousing and quaff- 
ing, 
Nor children at play : 
None shouted, none whispered ; there rose not 

a hum 
In that great city of the deaf and dumb. 
They left her there among the rows 
Of royal dead to find repose, 
Where Silence with her soundless wings 
Hovers o'er sleeping queens and kings, 

And each in dumbness steeps : 
And Darkness with her sightless eye, 
F 



66 POEMS. 



Gazes down through a starless sky. 
And all from waking keeps. 



Soul, I loved thee ; 

Thou wert beautiful : 
Soul, I served thee ; 

I was dutiful : 
We had been so long together, 
In the fair and the foul weather ; 
We had known such joys and tears 
That my love grew with the years. 

I was not an enemy 

Unto thy salvation ; 
If I sinned, I sinned with thee. 

Yielding to temptation ; 
Thou wert wiser, 

Thou wert stronger ; 
I was never thy despiser ; 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH. 67 

Wilfully I was no wronger — 
Wronging thee I wronged myself. 

I am but a broken cage, 

And the eagle's fled ; 
Think you he will quell his rage, 

Bend his high and haughty head, 
Leave the air at one fell swoop, 
And with folded pinions stoop 
Underneath these bars ; to droop 
Once again, with sullen eye 
Gazing at the far-off sky ? 
He has gone his way, and I 
Grudge him not his liberty. 

Does the wanton butterfly 

Long for her aurelia sleep, 
Sicken of the sunlit sky, 

Shrivel up her wings and creep 
From the untasted rose's chalice, 
F 2 



68 POEMS. 

Back into her chrysalis ? 
Does she on the wing deplore 
She can be a worm no more ? 

The melodious, happy bee, 

Will she backward ring her bell, 

Grieving for a life so free, 

Wishing back the narrow cell 

Where a cloistered nun she lay, 

Knowing not the night from day ? 

Lithe and subtle serpents turning 

Wheresoe'er they will, 
Are they full of sad repining 

That they cannot now be still, 
Coiled in the maternal prison 
Out of which they have arisen ? 

Earth to earth, and dust to dust, 
Ashes unto ashes must ; 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH 

Death precedeth birth. 
Infant gladness 
Ends in madness, 
And from blackest roots of sadness 

Rise the brightest flowers of mirth. 

I am but the quiver, useless 

When the bolts are shot ; 
But the dangling mocking scabbard 

Where the sword is not 
I am like a shattered bark 

Flung high up upon the shore ; 
Gone are streamers, sails, and mast, 

Steering helm and labouring oar. 
River-joys, ye all are past ; 

I shall breast the Nile no more, 

I was once a lamp of life, 
Shining in upon the soul ; 
But I was a lamp of clay : 



70 POEMS. 

Death and I had bitter strife ; 
He hath pierced the golden bowl. 
And he sent my soul astray. 
It is an immortal thing, 
Far beyond his venomed sting, 
But my life was his to win, 

And I must the forfeit pay ; 
So he poured the precious oil 
Of my very life away. 

If my soul should seek for me, 

It would find me dark ; 
In my leaking cup would see 

Death the quencher's mark ; 
Angels could not light in me 

Now the feeblest spark : 
I am broken, empty, cold ; 
Oil of life I could not hold. 

Soul and body cannot mate. 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH 71 

Unless Life doth join their hands ; 
And the fell divorcer sweareth 
By the royal crown he weareth 
And the awful sword he beareth, 

That a king's are his commands. 
" Soul and body, Life shall never, 
u When my smiting sword doth sever, 

" Join again in wedlock's bands." 

I was once the trusted casket 
Of a priceless, wondrous gem : 
With closed lid 
I kept it hid, 
Till God wanted 
It for his own diadem. 
Unto Death he gave the key, 

But he stayed not to unlock it : 
If the jewel were but free, 
He, the fierce one, what cared he 
For the casket, though he broke it ? 



72 POEMS. 

Mortal throes and cruel pangs 
Tore me open with their fangs, 
And God took the gem to set : 

But to put his mark on me 
Death did not forget. 
With his crushing, cruel heel, 
He impressed on me his seal, 
And on it these words were cut, 
H When I open, none may shut 
" Save the King, whose key I bear/ 



If that gem again from heaven 
Were entrusted to my care, 
I could not enfold and keep it 

From the chill, corrupting air ; 
Could not hide it out of sight 
Of the peering prying light : — 
Crushed and shattered, mean and vile, 
I am fit only for the funeral pile. 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH. 73 

I am not a harp whose strings 

Wait but for the quivering wings 

Of the breathing Spirit-wind 

Over them its way to find, 

Thrilling them with its fond greeting 

Till they answer back — repeating 

Tone for tone ; 

Adding others of their own. 

All my chords are tangled, broken, 

And their breaking is a token 

That, if now the wind-like spirit 

Should come longing back to me, 
It would vainly try to elicit 

Note or any melody. 

Life once by me stood and wound 
Each string to its sweetest sound, 

But Death stole the winding key 
And it would be woe to me 
If my soul from heaven should come 



74 POEMS. 

But to find me hushed and mute, 
Soundless as a shattered drum, 
Voiceless as an unblown flute, 

Speechless as a tongueless bell, 
Silent as an unstrung lute, 

Dumber than a dead sea shell : 
I could not even as a lisper, 
Utter back the faintest whisper, 
Were it but to say farewell. 

Archangelic trumpet sounding, 

Thou shalt wake us all ; 
On the startled universe 

Shall thy summons fall ; 
And the sympathising planets 

Shall obey thy call, 
Weeping o'er their sinful sister, 

Stretched beneath her funeral pall. 
Earth thou wert baptized in light, 

When the Spirit brooded o'er thee ; 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH 75 

Fair thou wert in God's own sight, 

And a life of joy before thee ; 
But thy day was turned to night, 

And an awful change came o'er thee. 
Then thou wert baptized again ; 

In the avenging, cleansing flood, 
Afterward for guilty men 

Christ baptized thee with his blood ; 
Yet to efface the stain of crime 

God shall light thy funeral pyre, 
And the fourth and final time 

Thou shalt be baptized with fire. 

V. THE SLEEP. 

Over the Necropolis and the land of Egypt the seasons 
and the centuries pass, producing their changes in Nature, 
celestial and terrestrial, and in all human history ; everywhere 
there is the same unvarying alternation of Life and Death ; 
and through all this monotony of change the Dead sleep, 
awaiting with irrepressible yearnings their Resurrection. 

The shadow of the pyramids 
Fled round before the sun : 



76 POEMS. 

By day it fled, 

It onward sped ; 
And when its daily task was done 
The moon arose, and round the plain 
The weary shadow fled again. 

The sphinx looked east, 

The sphinx looked west, 
And north and south her shadow fell ; 

How many times she sought for rest 
And found it not, no tongue may tell. 

But much it vexed the heart of greedy Time 
That neither rain nor snow, nor frost nor 
hail, 
Trouble the calm of the Egyptian clime ; 
For these for him, like heavy iron flail, 
And wedge and saw, and biting tooth and 
file, 
Against the palaces of kings prevail, 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH. 11 

And crumble down the loftiest pile, 
And eat the ancient hills away, 
And make the very mountains know decay. 

And sorely he would grudge, and much would 
carp, 
That he could never keep his polished blade, 
His mowing sickle keen and sharp, 

For all the din and all the dust he made. 
He cursed the mummies that they would not 

rot, 
He cursed the paintings that they faded not, 
And swore to tumble Memnon from his seat ; 
But, foiled awhile, to hide his great defeat, 
With his wide wings he blew the Libyan sand, 
And hid from mortal eyes the glories of the 
land. 

Then he would hie away 
With many a frown, 



78 POEMS. 

And whet his scythe 

By grinding Babylons down j 1 
And chuckle blithe, 
As, with his hands 
Sifting the sands, 
He meted in his glass 
How centuries pass, 
And say, " I think this dust doth tell 
Whoever faileth, I work well." 



Round the great dial of the year 
The seasons went and struck the quarters. 
Whilst the swift months, like circling hours, 
Told the twelve changes by their changing 

flowers ; 
And the great glaciers from the mountain 

tops, 
Where the bold chamois dare not climb. 

1 Similar reference in Hoocfs poems. 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH. 79 

Silently sliding down the slopes, 

Marked the slow years upon the clock of 
Time. 

The burst of revelry was heard no more 
Along the Nile ; nor near its reedy shore 
The pleasant plashing of the dipping oar : 
Nor cry of sailor unto sailor calling, 
Nor music of the hammer on the anvil falling, 
Nor song of women singing in the sun, 
Nor craftsmen merry when their work is done : 
The trumpet all was hushed, the harp was 

still, 
And ceased the hum of the revolving mill : 
The sound of solitude alone was there, 
And solemn silence reigning everywhere. 

The sun, the mighty alchymist, 
With burning ardour daily kissed 
Earth's dusky bosom into gold : 



8o POEMS. 

And when at eve 

He took his leave, 
Again his eager lips grew bold, 
And on her dark'ning brow and breast 
His strange transmuting kiss impressed. 

The moon ! she hath hermetic skill, 
As nightly every shadow told ; 
She cannot change all things to gold, 
But she hath skill, and she hath will, 
To turn to silver blackest hill 

And deepest shade and darkest pile ; 
And night by night, 
The gloomy Nile, 
A sea of light, 

Smiled to her smile. 

A million times, by days of men, 
The earth her silver robes put off, 
Only her golden train to doff 

In shortest time again. 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH. Si 

Link by link, and ring by ring, 
Each day and night a link would bring : 
The sun ! a ring, all golden-bright, 
The moon ! a link, all silver-white ; 

And so the twain 

Wove at the chain 
Which they have woven all the way, 
Since first was night, and first was day. 
It girdleth round the earth, and then, 
Swift passing from the abodes of men, 
It all transcendeth human ken 
To trace it back, it goes so far, 
Up to the dawn of time, 
Beyond the farthest star. 

In the lost past 

It hangeth fast, 
Held by the hand of God ; 
And angels, when they wish to know 
How time is moving here below, 
Come floating down on half-spread wings, 



82 POEMS. 

And see the steps our earth has trod, 
By counting the alternate rings 
That mark the day 

And mark the night, 
Since God said " Be " 
And there was light. 
The azure sky a garden lay, 

In which at mid-day seed was sown ; 
It peeped at eve, at twilight budded, 
And, when the day had passed away, 

The buds were burst, the leaves were blown. 
And starry flowers the midnight 
studded : 

Quick bloomed they there, 
Too bright and fair 
Not to be taken soon away : 
Thick through the air 
Rained they, 
In blazing showers, 
Their meteor-flowers, 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH 8. 

And withered at the dawn of day. 
They were not blotted from the sky i 
They faded, but they did not die : 
Each in its azure-curtained bed 
In stillest slumber slept ; 
Whilst, glancing far, 
The evening star 
A wakeful vigil kept, 
Till, when the setting sun withdrew, 

The appointed sign was given, 
And each grew up and bloomed anew, 
And glorified the face of heaven. 

Swift comets fled across the sky, 

Like murderers from the wrath of God, 

With frenzied look, and fiery eye 
(For swift behind the avenger trod), 

And long, dishevelled, trailing hair, 

Seeking in vain to find a lair, 

Where they could hide their great despair. 

G 2 



84 POEMS. 

They sought the very bounds of space, 
Bui dared not for a moment stay ; 

The dread Avenger's awful fa 
Waited before them on the way: 

They turned, their footsteps to retrace; 

They thought they flagged not in the race, 

Bui shuddered as a mighty for< :e, 
Wl)i(.l) none could see, bul all could ' 

( hecking their wild eccentric course, 

Bade them in lesser circles wheel : 
The judgment had gone forth that they 
Should feed the burning sun : 
They felt thai vengeance had begun 
Which, though ii suffered long delay, 

Would sternly smite and surely slay 
When their appointed race was run. 

And some there were of gentler sort, 

With slower step, of lowlier port, 

With smoother lochs and calmer eye, 
Who, shooting by the startled sky, 



THE SLEEP OE 7Y/E HYACINTH. 85 

Or gleaming through the midday blue, 
On errands sent which no one knew, 
Came — none knew whence, went — none knew 
where, 

The gipsies of the upper air. 

So whirled those stars, whilst worlds of men 

Died ere the time of their returning ; 
Yet they failed not to come again, 

With unquenched tresses fiercely burning, 
And, round a smaller area turning, 

Flew like doomed things to meet the ire 
That gave them to eternal fire. 



And, as they left the sleeping pair, 

They found them still at each returning 

Down in the darkness, keeping there 
An everlasting mourning. 
They would have thought the baleful light 



86 POEMS. 

Of comets a delightful sight, 

And joyed to gaze up at their hair, 

Waving malignant in the air. 

But not the faintest flickering gleam 

Of all their blinding glare, 
Not one adventurous errant beam, 

Could grope its way adown the stair 
That led to their sepulchral room, 
Or find a chink within their tomb, 
By which to show to spell-bound eyes 
The terrors of the midnight skies. 

The ibis gravely stalking 

As a self-appointed warden, 
Through every valley walking, 

Went through and through the garden ; 
And with his curved bill, 

Like a reaper's sickle hook, 
On every noxious thing 

A speedy vengeance took. 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH. 87 

White pelicans came sailing 

Like galleys down the stream ; 
And the Peacock raised the wailing 

Of his melancholy scream, 
From the lofty temple-summits 

Where he loved to take his stand, 
As if to catch a glimpse 

Of his far-distant land. 
And the sober matron geese, 

Now swimming and now wading, 
Now paddling in the mud, 

And now on shore parading, 
Moved, discoursing to each other 

With their mellow trumpet-voices, 
Each with native music telling 

Of a creature that rejoices ; 
Till some leader's shrillest signal, 

As of sudden foe invading, 
Stopped the babble of their tongues, 

And their careless promenading, 



88 POEMS. 

As they rose in steady phalanx 

Unfurling in the air, 
Like the banners of an army 

When they hear the trumpet's blare ; 
And now they kept together 

Like a fleet of ships at sea, 
When they fear not stormy weather 

Or foe from whom to flee ; 
And then they scattered far and wide, 

Like ships before a gale, 
When naked masts stand up on deck 

With scarce a single sail ; 
And now their phalanx like a wedge 

Went cleaving through the air, 
And then it was a hollow ring, 

And then a hollow square. 
So ! free through sea, and earth, and sky, 

With web, and foot, and wing, 
They lowly walked, or soared on high, 

And none disturbed their travelling. 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH. S 9 

They wandered at their own wild will 
Till daylight died and all was still, 
And then a summons clear and shrill 
Led them all back with weary wing, 
To rest in peace 
Till night should cease, 
Lulled by the Nile's low murmuring ; 
And in the garden's ample ground 
They each a welcome haven found. 

The garden was all full of life, 

All filled with living things ; 
Life in the earth and air, 

On bird and insect wings ; 
Life swimming in the river, 

Life walking on the land, 
The life of eye and ear, 

And heart, and brain, and hand. 
Life ! in the lichen sleeping, 

Life ! in the moss half- waking, 



90 POEMS. 

A drowsy vigil keeping ; 

Life ! in the green tree taking 
Its free course as a river ; 
Life, making each nerve quiver 
In the eagle upward soaring : 

Life, flowing on for ever, 
Its waters ever pouring 
Into that grave of death, which we 
Count as an all-devouring sea ; 

Dark are its depths, but they cannot 

retain 
Aught that was living ; it will not remain : 
Down in the darkness it hateth to stay ; 
Upward it riseth, and cleaveth its way 
Out of Death's midnight into Life's day. 
Fire from God's altar rekindleth its flame, 
Effaceth Death's mark and removeth his 

stain, 
Clothes it afresh and changeth its name, 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH. 91 

Nerves it anew to pleasure and pain, 
And sendeth it back to the place whence it 
came : 
Thither it speeds and returneth again, 
Like the wave of the lake 

And the foam of the river. 
Which as clouds from the sea 

The sun doth dissever. 
He bathes them in glory, 
He clothes them in light, 
He weaves for them garments of every hue : 
They tire of the glory, 
They steal from his sight, 
They drop on the earth as invisible dew. 
They return to the lake, 
They revisit the river, 
Like arrows shot up 

Which come back to their quiver. 
As the cloud was the sea, 
And the sea was the cloud, 



92 POEMS. 

So the cradle of Life 

Is wrapped in Death's shroud. 
The Life cometh down 

As the rain comes from heaven ; 
To flow is its law ; 

To Death it is given. 
The Life riseth up 

As a cloud from Death's sea ; 
It changeth its robe, 

From decay it is free ; 
It mocketh at Death, 

It breaketh his chain ; 
And the clouds in the sky 

Come after the rain. 

Life's a spender, 
Death's a keeper ; 

Life's a watcher, 
Death's a sleeper ; 

Life's a sower, 
Death's a reaper ; 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH 93 

Life's a laugher, 

Death's a weeper ; 
Life's an ever-flowing river, 

Death's an ever-filling sea ; 
Death is shackled, 

Life is free ; 
Death is darkness, 

Life is light ; 
Death is blindness, 

Life is sight ; 
Life is fragrant, 

Death is noisome ; 
Death is woeful, 

Life is joy some; 
Life is music, 

Death is soundless ; 
Death is bounded, 

Life is boundless ; 
Death is lowly, 

Life hath pride , 



94 POEMS. 

Death's a bridegroom, 

Life's the bride ; 
Death's the winter, 

Life's the spring ; 
Life's a queen, 

But Death's a king ; 
Life's a blossom, 

Death's its root ; 
Death's a seed, 

And life's its fruit ; 
Death is sown, 

And life upsprings ; 
Death hath fetters, 

Life hath wings. 



So in endless iteration, 

Through the long protracted ages 
Rose their wailing alternation ; 

Like the murmur that presages 



THE SLEEP OF THE HYACINTH 95 

Rising tempests, ere their fullest fury 
rages, 
Rose and fell 
Its plaintive swell, 
Like the mourning one doth hear, 
Listening with attentive ear 
To the sighing of a shell, 

Orphaned from its mother sea, 
Where it longs again to dwell, 
Weary of its liberty. 



So they panted for the light ; 

Yearned for the living day, 
Sick of silence, tired of darkness, 

Chafing at the long delay ; 
Till, when thrice a thousand years 

Drearily had passed away, 
Hope and faith fled with them too, 

And they ceased to pray. 



96 POEMS. 

No one seemed to love or heed them, 
And in dull despair they waited, 
To a hopeless bondage fated, 

Till the Archangel's voice should bid them 

Rise upon the Judgment Day. 



[Here the MS. ends — the intended final part, to be called 
the " Awaking," never having been written.] 



I CORINTHIANS, XIII. 



Here, as through a glass, we darkly, 

Doubtfully, and dimly gaze ; 
Even the brightest things have shadows, 

Round the clearest hangs a haze. 

They who bask within the blaze 

Of the pure, unshaded rays, 
In the realms of bliss, 

Changed have for doubtful vision, 

Perfect sight and full fruition. 

They know there, as they are known, 
Christ doth claim them as his own, 
Where they stand, 

H 



POEMS. 

Round about the throne of grace, 
Gazing on him, face to face, 

In the land of light, 
The bright immortal land. 

Faith hath there become conviction : 
Happiness hath no restriction ; 
Christ proclaims the benediction, 
16 Be with me, ye blest, alway." 

Wand'rers once, through many mazes, 
Clothed with His imputed graces, 
Tears all wiped from off all faces, 
They adore Him night and day. 

No one there in darkness gropeth, 
No one half-despairing hopeth, 
No one with the great Foe copeth, 
Christ hath taken sin away. 



/ CORINTHIANS, XIII. 99 

Tempter never there assaileth, 
Charity there never faileth ; 
Christ's great love for all availeth : 
And the weakest cannot stray. 



Sobbing is not there, nor sighing, 
Grief is all unknown, and crying, 
Pain is never seen, nor dying ; 
Former things have passed away. 

No one knoweth care, nor sorrow, 
No one feareth for the morrow ; 
Each eternal joy doth borrow 

From the Lamb, his strength and stay. 

May He whom — the sympathising 
High Priest, for us agonising, 
Knowing not 'twas God's devising, — . 
Traitors did to death betray, 
H 2 



ioo POEMS. 

He who of our inmost hearts every hidden 
thought divineth, 

And His people from their sins, like a precious 

ore refineth, 

Give us grace that we may say, 

" Darkness now hath passed away, 

And the true light shineth." 

G. W. 



ORIGIN OF THE SNOWDROP. 

No fading flowers in Eden grew, 

Nor Autumn's withering spread 
Among the trees a browner hue, 
To show the leaves were dead ; 
But through the groves and shady dells, 
Waving their bright immortal bells, 
Were amaranths and asphodels, 
Undying in a place that knew 
A golden age the whole year through. 

But when the angels' fiery brands, 

Guarding the eastern gate, 
Told of a broken law's commands, 

And agonies that came too late ; 



D2 POEMS. 

With longing, lingering wish to stay, 
And many a fond but vain delay 
That could not wile her grief away, 
Eve wandered aimless o'er a world 
On which the wrath of God was hurled. 

Then came the Spring's capricious smile. 
And Summer sunlight warmed the air, 
And Autumn's riches served a while 

To hide the curse that lingered there ; 
Till o'er the once untroubled sky 
Quick driven clouds began to fly, 
And moaning zephyrs ceased to sigh, 
When Winter's storms in fury burst 
Upon a world indeed accurst. 

And when at last the driving snow, — 
A strange, ill-omened sight, — 

Came whitening all the plains below, 
To trembling- Eve it seemed — affright 



ORIGIN OF THE SNOWDROP. 103 

With shivering cold and terror bowed — 
As if each fleecy vapour cloud 
Were falling as a snowy shroud, 
To form a close enwrapping pall 
For Earth's untimeous funeral. 

Then all her faith and gladness fled, 
And, nothing left but black despair, 

Eve madly wished she had been dead, 
Or never born a pilgrim there. 

But, as she wept, an angel bent 

His way adown the firmament, 

And, on a task of mercy sent, 

He raised her up, and bade her cheer 

Her drooping heart, and banish fear: 

And catching, as he gently spake, 

A flake of falling snow, 
He breathed on it, and bade it take 

A form and bud and blow ; 



xo4 POEMS. 

And ere the flake had reached the earth. 
Eve smiled upon the beauteous birth, 
That seemed, amid the general dearth 
Of living things, a greater prize 
Than all her flowers in Paradise. 

" This is an earnest, Eve, to thee," 

The glorious angel said, 
" That sun and Summer soon shall be ; 
And though the leaves seem dead, 
Yet once again the smiling Spring, 
With wooing winds, shall swiftly bring 
New life to every sleeping thing ; 
Until they wake, and make the scene 
Look fresh again, and gaily green." 

The angel's mission being ended, 

Up to Heaven he flew ; 
But where he first descended, 

And where he bade the earth adieu, 



ORIGIN OF THE SNOWDROP, 105 

A ring of snowdrops formed a posy 
Of pallid flowers, whose leaves, unrosy, 
Waved like a winged argosy, 
Whose climbing masts above the sea, 
Spread fluttering sail and streamer free, 

And thus the snowdrop, like the bow 

That spans the cloudy sky, 
Becomes a symbol whence we know 

That brighter days are nigh ; 
That circling seasons, in a race 
That knows no lagging, lingering pace, 
Shall each the other nimbly chase, 
Till Time's departing final day 
Sweep snowdrops and the world away. 

G. W. 



the trance. 

Founded on a story, told in one of the Fathers ', of a monk 
who was bewailed over as dead, a?id aftenvards arose in life. 

A FIERCE and heavy pang then shot into my 

swooning brain, 
That sickened in the crushing gripe of that 

almighty pain ; 
My body quivered awfully, as if the blast of 

death 
Ran wild amid the shivering nerves, like wind 

on withered heath ; 
And through my veins the tide of blood ran 

back with sullen sobbing, 
And lay a cold and heavy weight upon my 

heart's thick throbbing ; 



THE TRANCE. 107 

The fiercely struggling breath beneath my 

stiffened chest was drowned, 
Nor aught save strangled moans there came, 

of human voice or sound ; 
And faded from my freezing sense the holy 

brethren nigh, 
And the solemn prayer of faith they spake, to 

our Lord Christ on high, 
That He would be my strength and stay, 

when flesh did fail and faint, 
And so it was, for in that hour the Lord was 

near His saint. 



I felt this solemn agony was come to bid me 

die, 
Wrestling with Time, my soul was panting 

for Eternity, — 
I felt that it was o'er with earth, and human 

will and sin — 



io8 POEMS. 

A strong pang shudders through my frame, 
and swiftly from within, 

The spirit leaps into the light, of fair majestic 
feature, 

With radiant form of purity, a glorious, god- 
like creature. 



But ah ! it was a fearful thing, from ancient 

dwelling flown, 
To feel myself all desolate, all naked and 

alone ; 
I looked most wistfully that some kind spirit 

from above, 
On happy wings of light, should come to 

cheer me with his love, 
To quell my heart of crowding fears, and lead 

me to the rest, 
Where I might dwell for evermore with God's 

dear children blest 



THE TRANCE. 109 

I looked, but ah ! no bright one came, my 

panting ardour meeting, 
No cheerful sound of hastening wings, no 

gentle voice of greeting. 
And then, woe's me ! with sick despair and 

drowning heart, I thought 
The Lord His sinful servant had amid His 

works forgot, 
That I was fallen from His care who died 

upon the tree, 
And that for aye no dwelling place was meted 

out for me. 

And so I went upon my way, with sad and 

doubting motion, 
A dreary wanderer drifting forth upon a 

shoreless ocean ! 

I know not where or how I went, when — past 
the furthest star 



no POEMS. 

That beacons from the utmost nook, where 

matter's limits are — 
In timid quest, I swiftly pressed into the awful 

realm, 
Whose very name is all we think, in thoughts, 

that overwhelm, 
Where shadows piled on shadows dwell in 

twilight dim and drear, 
And shroud within their shuddering depths, 

the Majesty of Fear ! 



I know not where or how I went, where going 

left no trace, 
And stillness circled everywhere through the 

untrodden space ; 
No echo, waking to my flight, gave semblance 

of a voice, 
To speak in kindly fellowship, and bid my 

heart rejoice, 



THE TRAXCE. Hi 

Xo shadows followed flickeringly upon my 

fleeting wing, 
To break the fearsome loneliness, and seem a 

living thing ; 
But now that God Himself no more, drew near 

unto my call, 
I seemed myself a solitude — an awful AI1- 

in-All ! 



And so my heart was folded up in black 
dismav, like night, 

And grim Despair ate greedily into my mov- 
ing might, 

So that I drooped and sickened there ; yet 
with a gloomy gliding, 

I go — Jehovah's banished one — for whom is no 
abiding ! 

But lo ! all soon, with quickening joy, I inly 
laughed and leapt, 



POEMS. 



At the great sight that suddenly athwart my 
vision swept. 



And yet it had no pleasant view, but, like a 

builded Dome, 
It towered, a formless giant pile, a very sun of 

gloom, 
Raying intensest darkness forth in shadow- 
shapes around 
Which, on the void unwilling space, no place 

of resting found, 
But aye they trembled troublously, a wild 

uplifted sea, 
Whose waves, like heaving midnight skies, 

shot terror into me. 
— The place wherein that fearful twain, old 

Night and Death, abode, 
Infinity itself meseemed to faint' beneath 

the load. 



THE TRANCE. 113 

But yet I joyed, because I deemed a quiet 

place to find, 
Where I might couch within the ken of 

blessed human kind ; 
And be they gentle, loving friends, or fierce 

and foul of might, 
Yet loneliness would flee away — Oh God ! a 

wild delight ! 
But as I trembled on the verge, came creeping 

to my ear 
A sound all thin and bodiless, as only spirits 

hear, 
That seemed to tell the tingling tale of agony 

immortal — 
Yet still I swiftly sped my way to win the 

looming portal. 



Then stretched a sight before my gaze, that 
thrust me through with woe, 
I 



114 POEMS. 

I shuddered with a shrinking fear, but back- 
ward could not go ; 

I saw a hall that stretched afar in sick and 
yellow light, 

Whose walls were reared, whose dome was 
hung, in chaoses of night, 

And then I saw a wailing troop, a myriad 
crowd of ghosts, 

Who sat all through its joyless length, in wan 
and glimmering hosts. 



A stark and stony glare did aye upon their 

eyes remain, 
And dwelt upon their frozen light a stern 

unmoving pain, 
That vainly struggled forth to sound, but lip 

and voice were sealed, 
So that it found no rushing vent of agony 

revealed ; 



THE TRANCE. 115 

Dully, as drunk with heavy grief, they crooned 

a wail of sadness, 
Not w r ords, but as it were a pang that wrung 

itself to madness, — 
On through the stricken twilight gloom, with 

shuddering wings it rolls, 
Sounding the dreary muffled dirge of wrecked 

and ruined souls. 



All friends were there of dearest kin, — son, 

sister, sire, and brother — 
Yet no one sought, with yearning love, to 

commune with another, 
That he might take or lose a grief—empty a 

soul of woe, — 
For here the swelling fount of love was frozen 

in its flow ; 
All sympathies, all charities, the unutterable 

store 

I 2 



u6 POEMS. 

Of dearest joys in earthly homes, were 

quenched for evermore, 
And here the spirit, cramped and pinched 

with fears, like iron chains, 
Brooded its own unhappy case, in sore and 

ghastly pains. 



On through the place there moved a stream, 

with waters smooth and pale ; — 
With slow and sullen pace it crawled, like 

snake w T ith wounded trail, — 
So slothfully, it seemed like Sleep just waning 

into Death — 
Heaving from its mysterious depths a fitful 

whispered breath. 
I wist not whether 'twas this breath, that wove 

my sense around, 
And clung to life, uncertainly, shaping itself 

to sound ; 



THE TRANCE. 117 

Or whether 'twas from faces foul, that glided 

oft along, 
Lifting their gaze above the flood, and sung a 

passing song — 
I could not tell from whence it came, but 

heavily and dull, 
This chant rose like a drowsy cloud with 

killing poison full : 
" Salvation is life's speedy work, and God its 

cheerful giver, 
But lo ! the judgment draweth on, and it 

abides for ever ! " 



But, dreadest spectacle of all, I saw afar in 

height 
A Dial-Plate whereon there stood a Shadow 

and a Light, 
The shadow clear like starry gloom, — the 

brightness like the sun, 



u8 POEMS. 

And it moved on all evenly, its course was 

nearly run y 
For now its track had travelled on, in mute, 

resistless power, 
And now it told the fearful tale, 'twas Times 

eleventh Hour ! 
The day of suffrance fleeting past, the hour 

of mercy gone, 
It told the doom of God's red wrath was 

darkening swiftly on. 
Then as I looked I wept full sore, — Ah me ! 

their piteous case ! 
Poor souls condemned for aye to bide without 

the Lord His grace ! 
Ah pangs of dumb expressive woe ! Ah that 

so doleful song ! 
Ah cold and naked solitude amid a crowding 

throng ! 

My heart was withered like a leaf, when 
sudden on my ear 



THE TRANCE. 119 

There dins the crush, the rapid rush, of wings 

that hurtled near : 
Two grisly fiends drew nigh apace, upon the 

lowering path — 
Fell brow, and eye of cruel fire, and scowl of 

darkening wrath ; 
Within their gloating grasp was clenched a 

cowering, shrinking soul, 
That they were hailing gleefully to dree its 

dismal dole. 



A ghost it was of lofty look, a high immortal 

mien, 
Telling of thought that aye had wrought 

where deathless deeds had been ; 
But vainly dwelt that majesty like flame on 

eye and brow — 
Vainly, a bound, discrowned king, it wrestled 

on with woe ; 



120 POEMS. 

The battle and the victor's might were yielded 

to Despair, 
Who like to any conqueror outspread his 

banner there. 
They glided through the gate, each eye was 

raised in mournful hailing — 
One moment and no more, — they sank and 

saddened back to wailing. 
The soul was fixed and fettered down, — I 

looked, — too sore opprest, 
A swoon around me spread its arm, and 

cradled me to rest. 



Again I woke and looked ; my soul was wafted 

far away, 
Like summer boat on sea afloat, forth into 

light like day ; 
I scarce could trace that distant place of 

woeful sound and sight, 



THE TRANCE. 121 

Sure some sweet angel of the Lord had done 

me this delight. 
The load was off my weariness ; like happy 

birds in spring 
I fain would break in joyfulness, — I fain 

would leap and sing ! 



But who is this that standeth near, and gazeth 

down on me ? 
Who standeth near, and gazeth down, a form 

most bright to see ; 
A winged shape of majesty that makes my 

spirit bow, 
The splendour of a heaven is girt around his 

shining brow. 
I know him by his smile of love, his robed 

form of glory, 
A calm and silver radiance, like sunlight 

now grown hoary; 



r22 POEMS. 

I know it is an angel's eye that looketh down 

on me ! 
I know it is an angel's form, that form so 

bright to see ! 

" Ah Sir," said I, with tearful eye, " doth God 

forget His grace ? 
Forgetteth He my weary soul ? Allotteth me 

no place 
Amid the many-mansioned House, where 

saints with Christ are blessed ? 
Or comest thou to guide me home unto that 

quiet rest ? " 

Then, with a face of tender grace, he soothed 

my sad estate, 
God's mercy was not minished, His arm was 

still as great, 
He told me that my place should yet amid 

the righteous be, 



THE TRANCE. 123 

When that the Lord's appointed time should 

set me ever free, 
But now, 'twas only for a space the soul had 

left its prison, 
The body yearned e'en now again to win the 

life uprisen. 



No more alone ! no more to roam ! But God 
my Father is ! 

My Elder Brother Jesus Christ ! The saints my 
kin, I wis ! 

Just men made perfect wait for me, and shin- 
ing angels stand 

To hail me to the happiness of the Immortal 
Land ! 

But ah ! not yet ! no present sight, — a while 
of faith and prayer, 

A while of toiling on in gloom, a while of 
weary care, — 



124 POEMS. 

I grieved to miss the holy bliss, to turn me 

back to pain, 
So near the rich inheritance of everlasting 

gain. 

Then said I to the Seraph blest, a fearful eye 
upraising, 

" Oh, might the Lord vouchsafe to me but 
one brief space of gazing 

Upon the great and many joys that ne'er 
grow sere with oldness, 

To warm my heart, in life again, from faint- 
ing in its coldness ! " 

I trembled for the bold desire, but he in grace 

approveth, 
" Come thou and see His good decree for all 

the souls He loveth ! " 
And so I rose and followed him, on wings of 

blissful buoyance, 



THE TRANCE. 125 

He in his smooth celestialness, my heart 

disturbed with joyance, 
Until apace, we reached the place, and stood 

amidst its calm, 
And I could feed my yearning need upon its 

bliss and balm. 



A meek and pleasant air there hung around 
it and above, 

Like zephyrs that had fallen asleep with over- 
much of love, 

And ever softly through this air floats, like a 
dreamed delight, 

A linked joy of fragrances, and breathed 
sounds, and sight : — 

Ah ! young and feeble ectasies, like orphaned 
babes they go 

Forth to the charmed solitude, with trembling 
steps and low. 



126 POEMS. 

For 'tis a spring's first quietness, — these are 

her budding life, 
The flowers are in their vernal bloom, 'tis they 

make odours rife, 
Small notes are stirred from every bird amid 

its hidden nook, 
And tremulous with infant fear singeth each 

little brook. 
Thus all was very peacefulness : — but yet the 

quiet told 
Of hoping for a summertime of life more free 

and bold. 



There was another stillness there, — Morn with 

a gentle tread 
Walked like an awed living one who goes 

among the dead ; 
It was a dawn most beautiful, — no dank and 

misty gloom, 



THE TRANCE. 127 

But fair and pearly radiance ywove with 

golden bloom. 
No tumult here of gushing life, no noise of 

stirring might, 
But all are swaddled in the calm that dwells 

amid the light. 



Yet wait, in silent patientness, these tender 

lines each one, 
For days so great upguided strength, its glory, 

and its sun. 
And lo ! afar, a morning star, gemming the 

upper air, 
As if it saw the coming joy, now it is very 

fair, — 
With invoiced look, like Gospel book, preacheth 

what it doth see, 
The bliss, the bliss, the happiness of what is 

yet to be ! 



128 POEMS. 

'Twas here the chosen people dwelt — 'twas 

here I saw them stay, 
Starring the place, whose far embrace circled 

their great array, 
Amid its fair beatitude, in raiments meekly 

white, 
And looks that wore a blessedness beneath 

the gentle light. 
Some walked in twined companies, of mild 

and musing rest, 
And thoughts of kindred pleasantness were 

nursed in every breast, 
Some dwelt apart, and fed their heart on bliss 

in mute employ, 
Like waters, which by winds unkissed, lapt in 

a lonely joy. 



Ah, woe is me ! Ah, woe is me ! a man of 
lips unclean, 



THE TRANCE. 129 

How shall I tell of God's delights in that 

most quiet scene ? 
How speak of that dear myriad throng, how 

of the glory tell ? 
How of the holy happiness, which is ineffable ? 

But yet their joy did not ascend to high 

triumphant swells, 
Nor soared in clear uplifted voice like holy 

Sabbath bells, 
Yea, it was not the confidence of loud ecstatic 

faith, 
As one who in the full reward his high re- 
joicing saith, 
But seemed a hushed and trembling thought 

to make it calm and mild, 
Like bliss that Christ in heaven sends down 

upon a sleeping child, 
And still they bore a silent depth of dumb 

unuttered feeling, 
K 



130 POEMS. 

That steeped their looks in quietude, which 

was its sole revealing. 
I saw the dear regained joy of some, whose 

love had birth 
And cradling in the changefulness of ancient 

times on earth, 
I saw how it was hallowed here to an im- 
mortal strength, 
Amid the yearning fellowship of souls re-knit 

at length, 
But it was love which mutely strong upon their 

spirits wrought, 
That lay in undecaying rest beneath eternal 

thought. 



But as I gazed in earnestness, came, through 

the breathless air, 
Some low and wafted echoings of music very 

fair, 



THE TRANCE, 131 

As if they strayed from heaven, exiled from 

the incessant choirs, 
Who sing the songs they deftly sing unto 

their chiming lyres ; 
It was a tone of love and praise, and glided 

upon all, 
Until they seemed to wake and stir from out 

their silent thrall. 
And if I wis aright, this song they sent in 

roused accord, 
Hymning unto the blessed grace of their 

redeeming Lord. 

u Oh world ! Oh world ! and sin that was thine 

Like a cloud of black thunder it neared, 
And Hell lowering on, red and dark, to our doom, 
Gave the banner to Death he upreared ; 
Oh ! where shall we go, 
In the hour of the woe, 
Till the thunder is past, and the gloom ? 
K 2 



POEMS. 

" Oh the grace ! Oh the grace ! and the love 
of the Lamb ! 
It had vanquished the journeying wrath, 
The blue light of Hope, it is shining above, 
And the Terror is stayed on its path ; 
Oh the grace that hath sought us, 
And led us, and brought us, 
And shielded us round with its love ! 

" Oh heaven ! Oh heaven ! and glory to come ! 

Oh how shall we stand at the bar ? 
And how shall we join the immortal repose, 
Whose pleasures ineffable are ? 
Fear, in us and round us, 
Hath pierced us and bound us, 
Encircled with sin and its woes ! 

" Oh the grace ! Oh the grace ! and the love of 
the Lamb, 
It is with us and for us again, 



THE TRANCE. 133 

He will watch for our souls in Jehovah's full 
gaze, 
And with them we ever remain ; 
Our story, our story, 
Shall echo in glory, 
The love of the Lamb, and His praise ! " 

-if >t» «!/ atj jfe 

7f ^ yfc ^ 7? 

***** 

J. M. R. 



THE SKERRYVORE LIGHTHOUSE. 



The Skerry vore is a very dangerous reef of rocks, chiefly 
under water, situated about eleven miles west of Tyree, and 
twenty of Iona. The name is from the Gaelic, and signifies 
" The Great Rock." It lies so low that* it is not visible from 
any great distance, and it is surrounded by an almost perpetual 
surf, so that it has been the cause of many shipwrecks. A 
lighthouse was completed upon it in 1843, and the light exhi- 
bited for the first time on February 1, 1844. Its erection 
occupied six seasons, during which, as the engineer, Mr. Alan 
Stevenson, observes in the preface to his delightful accoii?it of 
the lighthouse, in spite of almost daily perils, 710 loss of either 
life or limb occurred. The allusion in verse xii. is to the fact 
that a temporary barrack erected in the summer of 1838 
totally swept away the next winter. 



I. 

A GOODLY band of stalwart men 
Pushed off from Scotland's shore, 



THE SKERRYVORE LIGHTHOUSE. 135 

Their path was o'er the stormy sea, 
They rowed for Skerryvore. 

II. 

They went not forth on vengeance bound, 

Man against brother-man, 
To say, " Our Might shall pass for Right, 

We will because we can." 

III. 
They went not forth to dig for gold, 

For gems or precious ore — 
The very seaweed scarce can cling 

To wave-worn Skerryvore. 

IV. 

An awful rock, it veils its head 

Beneath the stormy waves, 
And shatters ships, and scatters wrecks, 

And hides from men their graves. 



136 POEMS. 

V. 
That goodly band, they reached its strand, 

They climbed upon that tomb ; 
Each took his stand, and raised his hand — 

They spoke across the gloom. 

VI. 

" Our brothers' cries have reached the skies, 
Their blood stains all the deep ; 

Thou hast made many a mother mourn, 
And lonely orphan weep. 

VII. 

" Thou shalt not kill, or do more ill, 
Thou shalt be marked like Cain, 

That men may see, and flee from thee 
Far off upon the main." 

VIII. 
Then rose the Sea in fearful wrath, 
And spoke with sullen roar, 



THE SKERRYVORE LIGHTHOUSE. 137 

" This rock is mine, I love the dead, 
I will keep Skerryvore." 

IX. 
" Name not the dead, O Sea !" they said, 

Of drowned thou hast full store ; 
Thou well canst spare to us this rock — 

We will have Skerryvore. 

x. 

Then spake the Sea, " God gave to me, 

His child, — the land to win." 
" But God gave us both land and sea, 

We are His next of kin. 

XL 
" And we shall fight, to try our right, 

We men, and thou, the Sea, 
And if thy might can quench our light, 

Thou shalt the victor be." 



138 POEMS. 

XII. 
Six years went past, from first to last ; 

They struggled with the Sea, 
And when at first its fury burst, 

It won the victory. 

XIII. 
But when the summer lull had come, 

And hushed the Sea to sleep, 
They watched their time, they won the rock, 

And triumphed o'er the Deep. 

XIV. 
Day after day they toiled away, 

Little at night they slept ; 
With anxious eye they scanned the sky, 

And careful watch they kept. 

XV. 

God's guiding hand was with that band, 
His eye was o'er them all, 



THE SKERRYVORE LIGHTHOUSE. 139 

His mighty arm kept each from harm, 
Not one did faint or fall. 



XVI. 
Tier upon tier they raised the pier ; 

Slowly they built the tower, 
Until at last, it mocked the blast, 

And the Sea owned their power. 

XVII. 
And now it stands, to bless all lands, 

And with its beaming eye, 
It watches for the mariner, 

And warns him whence to fly. 

XVIII. 

And sometimes on a summer eve 
The Sea looks up and smiles, 

And on its bosom fondly lays 
The Lighthouse of the Isles a 



140 POEMS. 

XIX. 
All free from fears, the sailor steers, 

And dreads the rock no more, 
The blessed light makes day of night, 
The light of Skerryvore. 

G. W. 



THE GREAT SHEPHERD. 



Shepherd of the Host of Heaven ! 

Who the glorious stars 
Sendest through the morn and even, 

Jupiter and ruddy Mars; 
Sun and moon, and planet uttering 

Speech to sun and star again : 
Whilst the doomed earth is muttering 

Wailings o'er the woes of men : 
Listen to their peaceful bleating, 
Praises of Thy name repeating. 

Starry flock that climb the height 
Of the zodiac and the sky, 

Robed in brightness, fed on light : 
By the ever-watchful Eye 



i^2 POEMS. 

Ye are seen, and ye are tended 

As ye sweep, 
By your fleecy clouds defended, 

Through the ether's deep : 
And for every lamb-like moon 

There is covert where to hide 
From the sultry glare of noon 

By the mother-planet's side. 

Dark infernal wolf may never 
Pluck you from the fold of God ; 

His Almighty hand shall ever 

Guide you with His staff and rod, 

And teach you when you roam 

Through the pastures of your boundless 
home. 

II. 
Shepherd ! who, the sea dividing, 
Didst Thine ancient people lead ; 



/■ 



THE GREA T SHEPHERD. 143 

By Thy glorious right arm guiding 

Israel and thy chosen seed. 
Thou wert ever in their sight 

All the long and toilsome way : 
Fiery pillar shone by night, 

Cloudy pillar rose by day : 
Till thou brought'st them by the hand 
Of Moses to the Promised Land. 

To wandering ways they were addicted, 

But God forgave their strange behaviour ; 
In all their ways He was afflicted, 

And of Himself became their Saviour; 
His heart with deep compassion teemed 

To them, although their hearts were 
cold ; 
In love and pity He redeemed, 

And bore them all the days of old, 
And filled the nations with the fame 
Of His everlasting Name. 



144 POEMS. 

Teach, O Lord ! each blind adorer 

Of Moses' law and priestly Aaron, 
Who is Jacob's great Restorer, 

The despised Rose of Sharon ; 
May they see Messiah reigning, 

Him of whom the prophets spoke, 
And no longer Christ disdaining, 

Bow beneath His heavy yoke : 
Send them, as Thou didst of old, 
To the only Shepherd, and the only fold. 

III. 

Shepherd ! who at God's great altar, 

Wert the Lamb, and wert the Priest, 
Who did not at suffering falter, 

Till God's indignation ceased. 
Thou wert not by Earth's things hired 

From the wolf to take his prey, 
By Thine own great love inspired 

Thou didst give Thy life away : 



THE GREAT SHEPHERD. 145 

Things more precious than of gold 
Bought for us the heavenly fold. 

Grant that guided by our Master 

We may all go out and in, 
And find green refreshing pasture, 

Justified by faith from sin. 
When the fearful valley, darkening 

With the shadow of Death's wings, 
Gapes for us, may we keep hearkening 

To the cheering voice that rings 
Through each dim and gloomy vaulting, 

Saying, " Halt not in the race, 
This must needs precede exalting ; 

Let this thought each fear efface : 
Not one billow shall go o'er thee, 
I am on the way before thee." 

Great Forerunner! Man of Sorrow ! 
Priest and Prince upon Thy throne ! 
L 



146 POEMS. 

May we, walking in the narrow 
Way provided for Thine own, 

By the Spirit's blessing granted, 
Fear not man nor devil's hate, 

But upheld and all undaunted, 
Read on the eternal gate : 

" Come within : nought can us sever, 

Ye shall go out no more for ever." 

G. W. 



THE CHRISTIAN SOLDIER PUTTING 

OFF HIS ARMOUR AT THE 

GATES OF HADES. 

Eph. vi. 13 — 17. 
A SONG OF THE NIGHT DURING SICKNESS, 

Helmet of the hope of rest ! 

Helmet of salvation ! 
Nobly has thy towering crest 
Pointed to this exaltation. 
Yet I will not thee resume, 
Helmet of the nodding plume ; 
Where I go no foeman fighteth, 
Sword or other weapon smiteth ; 
All content, I lay thee down, 
shall gird my brows with an immortal crown. 
L 2 



148 POEMS. 

Sword at my side ! Sword of the Spirit ! 

Word of God ! Thou goodly blade ! 
Often have I tried thy merit ; 

Never hast thou me betrayed. 
Yet I will no further use thee, 
Here for ever I unloose thee ; 
Branch of peaceful palm shall be 
Sword sufficient now for me ; 
" Fought the fight, the victory won," 
Rest thou here, thy work is done. 

Shield of faith ! my trembling heart 

Well thy battered front has guarded ; 
Many a fierce and fiery dart 

From my bosom thou hast warded. 
But I shall no longer need thee, 
Never more will hold or heed thee. 
Fare-the-well ! the foe's defeated, 
Of his wished-for victim cheated : 
In the realms of peace and light 
Faith shall be exchanged for sight. 



THE CHRISTIAN SOLDIER. 149 

Girdle of the truth of God ! 

Breastplate of His righteousness ! 
By the Lord Himself bestowed 

On his faithful witnesses, 
Never have I dared unclasp thee, 
Lest the subtle foe should grasp me ; 
Now I may at length unbind ye, 
Leave you here at rest behind me ; 
Nought shall harm my soul, equipped 
In a robe in Christ's blood dipped. 

Sandals of the preparation 

Of the news of peace ! 
There must now be separation, 

Here your uses cease. 
Gladly shall my naked feet 
Go my blessed Lord to meet ; 
I shall wander at His side 
Where the living waters glide ; 
And these feet shall need no guard 
On the unbroken heavenly sward. 



150 POEMS. 

Here I stand of all unclothed, 

Waiting to be clothed upon 
By the Church's great Betrothed, 

By the everlasting One. 
Hark ! He turns the admitting key, 
Smiles in love and welcomes me ; 
Glorious forms of angels bright 
Clothe me in the raiment white ; 
Whilst their sweet-toned voices say, 
" For the rest, wait thou till the Judgment 

Day." 

G. W. 



THE DEAD AND THE LIVING. 



We make them a hidden quiet room 

Far in the depth of our spirit's gloom, 

There, oh there, do the loved abide, 

Shadowy, silent, sanctified ! 

Thither, oh thither, wrung with woe, 

In yearning love we often go ! 

We see their face in its living grace, 

And the dear old look of its kindness trace, 

We hear the words of their tender breath, 

(Are they in life or we in death ?) 

But the beauty bright they were wont to have, 

Is damp and dim as with the grave, 

And each form a funeral garment wears, 

And our eye is blind with a mist of tears. 



152 POEMS. 

There is piteous wail amid our meeting, 

We sigh and sob our words of greeting, 

We feel their arms around our heart, 

In a fond and heavy twining, 
And clinging so they may ne'er depart 
From the gaze of our tearful pining ; 
And so by night and through the day 
Wailing and death are ours alway. — 

And is it so ? is it God's decree, 
That we can have only misery ? 
We thank Thee, O Lord ! for the mercy 

given, 
In the hopes of the better life of heaven. 
We praise and bless Thy lowly grace, 
Our dead are alive in a pleasant place ; 
That while our hearts are sore with weeping 
They are safe in Thy kindly keeping, 
That Thou hast told us how blest they be 
In the fold of Thy great felicity. 



THE DEAD AND THE LIVING. 153 

Do we weep for them ? Do our spirits mourn 
They shall ne'er to our eye, to our arms return ? 
It is they who live, those souls alone, 
Holy and happy around the Throne, 
It is they should lament for us that are 
From the Eternal Life so far ; 
With souls of sin and a feeble breath, 
It is we, it is we who pine in death. 

Let us then no more muse sadly back, 
To the ancient times of our earthly track, 
As if death like a deep and dreary river 
Had drowned the joy from our hearts for ever ; 
Let our souls reflect — and if eyes are wet, 
Be it not the tear of a vain regret — 
On the blissful words which the Scripture saith 
Of the excellent joys that crown the head 
Of every one of the Faithful Dead ! 

J. M. R. 



"THERE SHALL BE NO NIGHT THERE." 

Revelation, xxi. 25.' 

No Night ! when Toil's demands, 
Finished or not, must cease, 

And Labours iron hands 
Be folded up in peace. 

No Night ! no night at land, 

No starless night at sea, 
When help is none at hand, 

To windward, or to lea. 

No Night ! of rain and cold, 

Of hunger and of thirst, 
Of woes and pangs untold, 

By want and famine nursed. 



THERE SHALL BE NO NLGHT THERE. 155 

No Night ! no life all night 

By blindness suffered here, 
With eyes bereft of sight, 

And steps beset with fear. 



No Night ! no waking night ; 

When slumbers flee away, 
And watchers long for light, 

And wait the wished-for day. 

No Night ! when moments know 

An age's weary span ; 
As if the sun would show 

His face no more to man. 

No Night ! when pain to bear 
Through daylight heart we keep, 

Till Darkness from his lair 
Rises and murders sleep. 



156 POEMS, 

No Night ! when fearful dreams 
The troubled soul oppress, 

Till waking anguish seems 
By far the less distress. 

No Night ! when memory's cells 
Open with all their woes ; 

And vain are subtlest spells, 
Their open doors to close. 

No Night ! when pale Remorse 

Beckons to grim Despair, 
And vengeful noises hoarse 

Accusing fill the air. 

No Night ! no earthly night, 

All shadows done away, 
The Lamb Himself the light, 

And an eternal day ! 

G. W. 



ON SOME BEAUTIFUL LITTLE SHELLS 
ARRANGED IN GROUPS. 

Ye pearly shells, 

That from the deep sea wells, 

Where brooding darkness ever dwells, 

Have risen to the light of day, 
Who fear no more 

The breakers dashing on the angry shore, 
Or the first tempest's fiercest roar 

Or the wild wintry spray, 

To me ye seem, 
Whilst thus a Sabbath ye for ever keep, 
Like infants, whose soft-breathing sleep 

Is only broken by some pleasing dream, 



158 POEMS, 

In which a bending angel sips 
A kiss from those small smiling lips, 
And leaves behind an added grace 
To rest upon the fair young face. 
Or rather are ye like a band 
Of saints in the immortal land, 
Who through deep waters long had passed 
On whom dark waves their wrath had cast, 
Who in the whirlpools of despair, 
Had bidden farewell to God's bright air, 
And yet are safe in heaven at last. 
Ye fair bright things ! 

It seems to me 
That ye must listen 
To the far-off sea, 
Then wake a moment, and with keen* 

zest 
Sink back again to graceful rest ; 
Like sailors sleeping on the shore. 
Who sleep the sounder 



ON SOME BEAUTIFUL LITTLE SHELLS. 159 

Because at times awaking, 

They catch the rolling of the distant 
thunder, 
And the hoarse billows on the high cliff 
breaking, 
And hear them say, above their sullen roar, 
" Sleep on, ye are at sea no more." 

Rest is more restful that we ran before ; 
Sleep is more sleepful for long tortures 

sore ; 
Night can make brighter even the brightest 

light : 
Blindness makes clearer even the clearest 

sight ; 
Peace is more peaceful after bitter strife ; 
And death the only gate of endless life. 

May she whose graceful hand 
Hath given you bright repose, 



160 POEMS. 

In God's good time be joined to those 
Who from all change are free, 
And rest all safe within that land 

Which never can be vexed by storms, 
Because it hath no sea ! 

G. W. 



ATHANASIUS CONTRA MUNDUM. 

O ATHANASIUS ! thy too subtle creed 

Makes my heart tremble when I hear it read, 

And my flesh quivers when the priest proclaims 
God's doom on every unbeliever's head. 

Yet I do honour thee for those brave words 
Against the heretic so boldly hurled, 

" Though no one else believe, I'll hold my faith, 
I, Athanasius, against the world." 

It was not well to judge thy fellow men, 
Thou wert a simple mortal like us ail ; 
Vengeance is God's ; none but Himself doth 
know 
On whom the terrors of His wrath will fall. 
M 



1 62 POEMS. 

But it was well, believing as thou didst, 
Like standard-bearer with thy flag unfurled, 

To blazon on thy banner those brave words, 
" I, Athanasius, against the world." 

Thy faith is mine ; but that is not my theme ; 

'Tis thine example I would preach to all ; 
Whatever each believes, and counts for true, 

Of things in heaven or earth, or great or 
small, — 

If he believe it, let him stand and say, 

Although in scorn a thousand lips are curled ; 

" Though no one else believe, I'll hold my faith, 
Like Athanasius, against the world." 

G. W. 



ANGELS. 



DROOP not thus, O feeble saint, 
Lift thy head, and be of cheer, 

Thou of spirit sad and faint, 

Calm thy sighing, stop thy tear ; 

Blessed angels, round abiding, 

Give thee light, and love, and guiding. 

Glorious from the bliss above, 

Oh, those legions armed and strong ! 

Stout in valour, great in love, 

They shall keep thy soul from wrong : 

Them thy God and theirs hath given, 

To protect thee into heaven. 
M 2 



1 64 POEMS. 

They, too, once were tried and proved, 
Thus they sorrow in thy grief, 

Now in power and grace unmoved, 
They shall bring thee blest relief; 

Shield thy soul from foes infernal, 

Till thou reach the life eternal. 

'Mid thy goings by the light, 
They are with thee by the way ; 

O'er thy slumbers through the night 
Still they stoop in whive array ; 

With a watch and ward unsleeping, 

All the Lord's beloved keeping. 

When the floods are loud and high, 
And thy soul is like to drown, 

Hark ! they say, " Thou shalt not die ! " 
Lo ! they point thee to the crown, 

Then in this thy tribulation 

Work for thee a great salvation. 



ANGELS. 165 

When the time of death is near, 
Angels shall be round thy head, 

Stay thy soul amid its fear, 
Give thee songs upon thy bed ; 

Thou shalt hear their tones of blessing, 

Feel their arms of kind caressing. 

When thou comest from thy clay, 
They shall soothe thy trembling eye, 

Teach thy foot the heavenward way, 
Help thy wing unto the sky, 

Bring thee to the blissful vision, 

Perfect praise and full fruition. 

Through the unceasing years above, 
Thou shalt with the angels be, 

'Mid the glory and the love, 
Join immortal jubilee ; 

With them loving, with them gazing, 

Mingle tones of endless praising. 

J. M. R. 



THE CHRISTIAN'S THREE BURDENS. 

2 Cor. v. 4 ; Matt. x. 38 ; 2 Cor. iv. 17. 



Burdens three to bear have we ; 

Two in time, 
And the third when we shall climb 

Upwards to eternity. 

First there is that load of sin, 

Which the cross has taken away ; 

But which we at once begin 
On our arms again to lay. 

Holy Spirit ! leave us not, 
Though we have Thee sore offended, 



THE CHRISTIAN'S THREE BURDENS. 167 

We had never hated sin, 

Hadst Thou not on us descended ; 
Through Thee we began, 
Through Thee may our course be ended. 

God ! Thou mightst in justice say 
That Thou wilt in wrath forget us ; 

Cast us not, O Lord ! away, 

Thou that didst in Christ beget us ; 

Daily do we weep and pray 
O'er the sins that sore beset us. 



May we as we onward go, 
Feel their weary burden grow 
Each day smaller, each day lighter, 
As the dawn grows bright and brighter, 
And on each dark hill and hollow, 
Clearer footprints bid us follow — 
Him whose bleeding feet have trod 



i6S POEMS, 

Such a wondrous path to God, 
That the lowliest strange wayfarer, 
If in His great love a sharer, 
Though he be a fool and blind, 
Will not fail that path to find. 



II. 

Blessed art thou ! second burden ; 

Cross of sorrow ! load of woe ! 
Steadier walks he with thee laden, 

Though perhaps he walketh slow. 

We will not on bosom ivcar thee, 
As a symbol pain expressing, 

But will lift thee up and bear thee, 
On our shoulder heavy pressing 

With thy sharp edge ; sore distressing 

Flinching flesh, and heart oppressing. 



THE CHRISTIAN'S THREE BURDENS. 169 

Steep the hill is : none would dare it. 
Great the load is : none would bear it, 
Were it not that He doth share it, 
Who once bore a cross all weighted, 
With each hateful thing and hated ; 
With the sins of all men freighted. 
Unto us He seems to say : 
" Dark the road is, long the way, 

And thou knowest not the length, 
But forget not, as thy day 

So shall be thy strength." 

Is there aught more by us needed ? 

Is there anything deficient ? 
Christ's own strength in us made perfect, 

And His grace for us sufficient 

III. 
Load of sin ! the Jordan river, 
Shall from us thy burden sever ; 



170 POEMS. 

Cross of sorrow ! thou shalt break, 
When our heavenward flight we take. 

Guided by our Saviour's leading 
Through the happy gate ; 

Lo ! of glory " an exceeding 
And eternal weight," 

Shall on us from God descending, 

Be the sign of joy unending. 

None shall faint beneath that load ; 

None shall wish it taken away : 
Each shall joy that it grows heavier 

Through the eternal, nightless day. 

As an infant hushed to rest, 
By its soft and gentle pressure 

On its mothers loving breast, 

Gives to her the greatest pleasure, 

Telling her each hour how she 

Is blessed in her maternity. 



THE CHRISTIAN'S THREE BURDENS. 171 

So the saints weighed down with glory 

In the happy land, 
Shall the more erect and firmly 

Round the throne of glory stand. 
It shall be a weight assuring 
Them alike of joy that is, 
Of the deepest present bliss, 
And of bliss through all enduring. 

" Light afflictions " once thought heavy 

In the darkened earthly state, 
Shall not then seem worth the heeding, 
Overwhelmed by the exceeding 

And eternal glorious weight, 
Which shall sink them out of sight, 

Out of memory, out of thought ; 
So that none shall know to find them 

Wheresoe'r they may be sought. 

Even so ! resigned and still, 
Let us lowly wait ; 



172 POEMS. 

Come to all our Saviour will, 

Come He quickly, come He late ; 

And exchange their weary burdens, 
For the eternal glorious weight. 

G. W. 



LINES ON DR. JOHN REID.* 

Death has at length released thee, 
Thou brave and patient one ! 

The unutterable pangs are past, 
And all thy work is done. 

Thou wert a Daily Lesson 

Of Courage, Hope, and Faith ; 

We wondered at thee living, 
And envy thee thy death. 

Thou hast gone up to Heaven 

All glad and painless now, 
The long-worn look of anguish 

Has left thy noble brow. 

* Late Chandos Professor of Medicine in the University of 
St. Andrews. 



174 POEMS. 

Thou wert so meek and reverent, 

So resolute of will, 
So bold to bear the uttermost, 

And yet so calm and still, — 

We think of thee with sorrow, 

Thy sad untimely end ; 
We speak of thee with pity, 

Our sore-tried suffering friend. 

We cheat ourselves with idle words, 
We are the poor ones here ; 

Sorrow and Sin and Suffering still 
Surround our steps with fear 

Our life is yet before us, — 

The bitter cup of woe, 
How deep it is, which each must drink, 

No one of us doth know. 



LINES ON DR. JOHN RE ID. 175 

The Shadow of the Valley, 

Whose gateway is the tomb, 
Spreads backwards over all of us 

Its curtain cloud of gloom. 

Some stand but at the inlet, 
And some have passed within, 

O'er all the shadow hourly creeps, 
And we move further in. 

Thou art beyond the shadow ; 

Why should we weep for thee ? 
That thou from Care, and Pain, and Death, 

Art set for ever free. 

Well may we cease to sorrow ; 

Or, if we weep at all, 
Not for thy fate, but for our own, 

Our bitter tears should fall. 



176 POEMS. 

'Twere better still to follow on 
The path that thou hast trod, 

The path thy Saviour trod before, 
That led thee up to God. 



G. W. 



LINES ON PROFESSOR EDWARD FORBES. 



Edward Forbes was born in the Isle of Man in February, 
1 815, and died near Edinburgh on the iSth of 'November ; 1854, 
in his 4.0th year, six months after his appointment to the Regius 
Chair of Natural History in the University of that city. His 
great and varied gifts and accomplishments, his remarkable 
discoveries, a:id his singularly lovable, generous, and catholic 
spirit, vtade him an object of esteem and affection to a very 
wide circle of friends, and a still wider circle of acquaintances. 
All were exulting in the prospect of the long and honourable 
career which awaited him, when, in the height of his glory and 
usefulness, he was suddenly stricken by a fatal disease, and died 
after a brief illness . 

The following lines seek to apply, mutatis mutandis, to the 
mystery of the great Naturalises death, certain canons which 
he enforced in reference to the existence of living things, both 
plants and animals. Their purport was, to teach that an 
individual plant or animal cannot be understood, so far as the 
full significance of its life and death is concerned, by a study 
merely of itself; but that it requires to be considered in con- 
nexion with the variations in form, structure, character, and 
deportment, exhibited by the contemporary members of its species 

N 



178 POEMS. 

spread to a greater or less extent over the entire globe, and by 
the ancestors of itself a?zd of those contemporary individuals 
throughout the whole period which has elapsed since the species 
was created. 

He further held, that the many animal and vegetable tribes 
or races (species) which once flourished, but have now totally 
perished, did not die because a "germ of death " had from the 
first been present in each, but suffered extinction in conseque7ice 
of the great geologic changes which the earth had 'undergone, 
such as have changed tropical into arctic climates, land into sea, 
and sea into land, rendering their existence impossible. Each 
species, itself an aggregate of mortal individuals, came thus from 
the hands of God, inherently immortal ; and when he saw fit to 
remove it, it was slain through the intervention of such changes, 
and replaced by another. The lo?igevity, accordingly, of the 
existing races can, according to his view, be determined (in so 
far as it admits of human determination at all) only by a study 
of the physical alterations which await the globe ; and every 
organism has thus, through its connexion with the brethren of 
its species, a retrospective and prospective history, which must 
be studied by the naturalist who seeks fully to account even for 
its present condition and fate. 

Those canons were applied by Edward Forbes to the humbler 
creatures ; he was unfailing in urging that the destinies of man 
are guided by other laws, having reference to his possession 
individually of an immaterial and immortal spirit. 

The following lines, embodying these ideas, contemplate his 
death, solely as it was a loss to his fellow-worhers left behind 
him : their aim is to whisper patience, not to enforce consolation \ 



ON PROFESSOR EDWARD FORBES. 179 



THOU Child of Genius ! None who saw 

The beauty of thy kindly face, 
Or watched those wondrous fingers draw 
Unending forms of life and grace, 
Or heard thine earnest utterance trace 
The links of some majestic law, 
But felt that thou by God wert sent 
Amongst us for our betterment. 

And yet He called thee in thy prime, 

Summoned thee in the very hour 
When unto us it seemed that Time 
Had ripened every manly pow T er : 
And thou, who hadst through sun and 
shower, 
On many a shore, in many a clime, 
Gathered from ocean, earth, and sky, 
Their hidden truths, wert called to die. 

N 2 



i b POEMS. 

We went about in blank dismay, 

We murmured at God's sovereign will ; 
We asked why thou wert taken away, 
Whose place no one of us could fill : 
Our throbbing hearts would not be still ; 
Our bitter tears we could not stay : 
We asked, but could no answer find ; 
And strove in vain to be resigned. 

When lo ! from out the Silent Land, 
Our faithless murmurs to rebuke, 
In answer to our vain demand 

Thy solemn Spirit seemed to look ; 
And pointing to a shining book, 
That opened in thy shadowy hand, 
Bade us regard those words, which light 
Not of this world, made clear and bright : — 

" If, as on earth I learned full well, 
Thou canst not tell the reason why 



ON PROFESSOR EDWARD FORBES. 

The lowliest moss or smallest shell 
Is called to live, or called to die, 
Till thou with searching, patient eye, 
Through ages more than man can tell, 
Hast traced its history back in Time, 
And over Space, from clime to clime ; 

" If all the shells the tempests send, 

As I have ever loved to teach : 
And all the creeping things that wend 
Their way along the sandy beach, 
Have pedigrees that backward reach 
Till in forgotten Time they end ; 
And may as tribes for ages more, 
As if immortal strew the shore ; 

" If all its Present, all its Past, 
And all its Future thou canst see, 

Must be deciphered, ere at last 

Thou, even in part, canst hope to be 



1 82 POEMS. 

Able to solve the mystery- 
Why one sea-worm to death hath passed : 
How must it be, when God doth call, 
Him whom He placed above them all ? " 

Ah, yes ! we must in patience wait, 

Thou dearly loved, departed friend ! 
Till we have followed through the gate, 
Where Life in Time doth end ; 
And Present, Past, and Future lend 
Their light to solve thy fate ; 
When all the ages that shall be, 
Have flowed into the Timeless Sea. 

G. W. 



THE CHRISTIAN WARFARE. 

HIGH and glorious is the station, 
Christian soul, on thee bestowed, 

Champion of the great salvation, 
Soldier of the Eternal God — 

Fronting, on this earth of ours, 

Principalities and powers. 

Trustful in thy great alliance, 

Take thy helmet, sword, and shield- 
Fill thy soul with stout defiance, 
Go, approve thee in the field ; 
Summon all thy bravest might, 
Play the man amid the fight. 



8 4 POEMS. 

He who sitteth in the Heaven 

On thy combat's course doth look, 

Howthou'st fought, and bled, and striven, 
Writes a record in His book ; 

Show thyself by deeds of fame 

Worthy warrior for His name. 

Through thy time of much endurance 
Thou mayst hold a fearless front, 

Since thy spirit hath assurance 
God is with thee in the brunt ; 

Helpful angels, standing near, 

Nerve thine arm and quell thy fear. 

Fierce though be thy tribulation, 
Thou shalt tread upon the foe ; 

Christ doth make His chosen nation 
Conquering and to conquer go : 

With that Captain of renown, 

Thou shalt surely win the crown. 



THE CHRISTIAN WARFARE. 185 

Though thy foes make fierce assailing, 
Keep thou calm and faithful breast ; 

Though thy heart and flesh are failing, 
Yet thou must not dream of rest : 

God shall bring thine hour of peace — 

He shall give thee swift release. 

Lo ! the pearly gates of brightness, 
They are open — they are near ! 

Thou mayst catch the robes of whiteness — 
Mayst the song of glory hear ! 

Go, thou victor of the Lord, 

To the exceeding great reward ! 

J. M. R. 



CAMERA OBSCURA. 

SILENT, dimly-lighted chamber 
Where the sick man lies, 

Death and Life are keenly fighting 
For the doubtful prize, 

While strange visions pass before 
His unslumbering eyes. 

Few of free will cross thy threshold ; 

No one longs to linger there ; 
Gloomy are thy walls and portal ; 

Dreariness is in the air ; 
Pain is holding there high revel, 

Waited on by Fear and Care, 



CAMERA OBSCURA. 187 

Yet, thou dimly-lighted chamber, 

From thy depths, I ween 
Things on earth, and things in heaven, 

Better far are seen 
Than in brightest broad daylight 

They have often been. 

Thou art like a mine deep sunken 
Far beneath the earth and sky, 

From the shaft of which, upgazing, 
Weary workers can descry, 

E'en when those on earth see nothing, 
Great stars shining bright on high. 

So within thy dark recesses, 
Clothed in his robes of white, 

To the sufferer Christ appeareth 
In a new and blessed light, 

Which the glare of day outshining 
Hid from his unshaded sight, 



1 88 POEMS. 

Silent, dimly-lighted chamber, 

Like the living eye, 
If thou wert not dark, no vision 

Could be had of things on high ; 
By the untempered daylight blinded, 

With closed eyelids we should lie. 

Oh my God ! light up each chamber 

Where a sufferer lies, 
By Thine own eternal glory, 

Tempered for those tearful eyes, 
As it comes from Him reflected 

Who was once the sacrifice. 

G. W. 



A HYMN FOR THE SICK-ROOM. 

Sufferer ! lift thy weary eye, 
Help is with thee, Christ is nigh ; 
God regards thee from on high. 

All thy groans go up as prayers, 
Through the Spirit's interceding ; 

Each unworded murmur wears 

At God's throne, the air of pleading : 

And in all thy woes He shares, 

Who was once the Victim bleeding. 

Though He is, and was, all sinless, 
He remembers. mortal pain ; 

Holy though He is, and stainless, 
On His form the scars remain, 



190 POEMS. 

And He looketh now, though painless, 
Like a Lamb that hath been slain. 



He is not a great High Priest 

In all sympathy deficient ; 
From all human things released, 

For Himself in all sufficient, 
To be man He hath not ceased, 

Though He is, as God, omniscient. 

All thy bed, in all thy sickness, 

He will make with His kind hands ; 

All thy fainting, fears, and weakness, 
Anxious thoughts, and fond demands, 

All thy patience, faith, and meekness, 
Reach Him where on high He stands. 

Faint not, then ! God ever listeneth, 
Answereth ere the cry is sent ; 



A HYMN FOR THE SICK-ROOM. 191 

Whom He loveth, those He chasteneth, 

Taketh what He only lent ; 
For Himself our ripening hasteneth 

By His sorest punishment. 

Need of patience have we all : 
Only through much tribulation 

Shall the holiest God doth call 

Pass through their ordained probation, 

And no longer dread to fall, 
Certain of their soul's salvation. 

G. W. 



LINES TO A YOUNG LADY NAMED MARY. 

John xi. 28. — Luke x. 41, 42. 
I. 

MARY ! as thou hast the name, 
Mayst thou have the temper holy 

Of that kind and gentle Mary, 
Who in spirit meek and lowly, 

Knew no more delightful seat, 

Than she found at Jesus' feet. 

Costly oil with spices sweet, 
Poured she on those blessed feet, 
Knowing not 'twas preparation 
For their cruel laceration 
By each bloody nail : 



LINES TO A YOUNG LADY. 193 

Thinking not of separation, 
Looking not for desolation, 
Calvary's cross and lamentation. 
And the mocking Jews' u All Hail I" 



Thou canst not, like her, be honoured 
Thus upon the Lord to wait, 

Clothed in awful majesty, 

Now he sits, a Kino; in state ; 
He has died, and lives and reigns 
High exalted, over death and all its pains. 



But if thou wilt listen calmly, 

Thou mayst hear a sweet voice saying, 
" Mary, rise, the Master calleth, 

Wondering at thv long delaying :" 

Wilt not thou, with willing feet, 
Run thy loving Lord to meet ? 




i 9 4 I OEMS. 

Pray to God, and He will guide thee, 
Let no evil thing betide thee, 
Soothe thy sorrow, say, " Be cheerful, 
Be not anxious ; be not fearful, 

Troubled about many things." 
E'en where all was desolation, 
Grief and deepest tribulation, 
Sweetest peace and consolation 

His good Spirit brings. 

Be not of this world's joys heedful ; 
There is but one good thing needful — 

Pray and watch, and watch and pray, 
Pray by night, and pray by day, 
Pray for a believing heart, 

Till the Holy Spirit say, 
" Mary hath chosen that good part, 

Which shall not be taken away." 



LINES TO A YOUNG LADY, 195 

II. 

TO MARY WEEPING. 
WHEN within the sacred garden, 

Where the Lord of Life had lain, 
Mary, weeping at the tomb, 

Sought her risen Lord in vain ; 
Though He stood Himself before her, 

Dark her eyes were, dim with tears, 
And she did not know the object 

Of her deepest hopes and fears. 
But when once that kind word, " Mary," 

Fell upon her startled ears, 
Sorrow was exchanged for gladness, 

And she wiped away her tears. 

So in all thy times of sorrow 
Listen, and His lips will say, 

" Mary ! Am I not sufficient ? 
I will wipe thy tears away." 

G. W. 

O 2 



THERE SHALL BE NO NIGHT THERE." 

Rev. xxi. 25. 

In sweetest time of summer prime, 

How swift the hours decay ! 
With what a fast and ruthless march 

Gloom tramples o'er the day ! 
Puts out the light in heaven's height, 

Mantles the gleaming sea, 
Stoppeth the life that was so rife, 

Makes dumb the voice of glee! 

Come, oh my soul ! and wing thy way 

Up from these dying days, 
In glad surprise, with loving eyes 

On a better land to gaze ; 



" THERE SHALL BE NO NIGHT THERE:' 197 

No dreary shroud of nightly cloud 
Spoils sweet and shining noon ; 

Needeth no sun that sky to run, 
No pale and changeful moon. 

Jehovah God in midst thereof 

Sits on the throne for aye, 
Pouring through the unbounded place 

Incessant streams of day. 
The blissful throng of saintly souls 

Walk in that radiance fine, 
It spreads a glory o'er their brow, 

Makes all their raiments shine. 

Oh earthly mind ! oh lips of clay ! 

Oh heart so cold and slow ! 
Ye cannot reach such thought or speech 

As can their glory show. 
No weariness doth clog the limb, 

No eyelid weighs with sleep, 



198 POEMS. 

Singing and serving in God's house, 
They happy vigil keep. 

No pleasures past with yesterday ; 

For morrow's morn no fears : 
But one long drawn beatitude, 

Unchanging through the years. 

Because their souls all naked are, 

Amid the unveiled light, 
Most pure are they from earth's decay, 

Shining all clear and white ; 
They stand amid the eternal Love, 

Most sweet their portion is ! 
Forth from God's face cometh such grace, 

Making their joys like His. 

No clouds, no twilight any more 
Bring gloom around their ways, 

They live in light, they walk by sight, 
On the very Lord they gaze ; 



" THERE SHALL BE NO NLGHT THERE:" 199 

They once had care, had toil and prayer, 
Lo ! now they rest — they praise. 

Amid this dim and dreary scene, 

Our spirits pant and pray 
Unto that band — unto that land — 

Unto that ceaseless day. 

Through vale of tears, 'mid night of fears, 
Our footsteps long have gone; 

Because of weeping much and sore 
Our hearts are sick and wan : — 

Oh Light ! Oh holy Day of God, 
Make haste, make haste to dawn ! 

J. M. R. 



CHRISTMAS WISHES, 

WRITTEN ON THE BLANK LEAF OF A BOOK OF CHRISTMAS 
CAROLS, BELONGING TO A LADY WHO WAS CALLED 
BY SOME OF HER FRIENDS "THE QUEEN," IN ALLU- 
SION TO HER GRACEFULNESS. 

May all fond blessings of the Christmas time, 

And merry wishes of the gay New Year, 
Each kindly thought that can find place in 
rhyme, 

Be as a prayer for good about thee here : 
And, best of all," may He, the King, 

Who unto us a child was born, 
Of whose birth-time these carols sing, 

Be with thee at the early morn ; 
Be with thee through the night and day, 

Where'er thy footsteps bend ; 



CHRISTMAS WISHES. 201 

Bless thee and be with thee " alway 

Even unto the end ;" 
Till, when the lapse of far-off years 

Hath brought life to a peaceful even, 
These words shall fall on willing ears, 
" They wait for thee in heaven." 
And if perhaps there be, 

As some there are, I ween, 
Who wonder when they hear 
Thee called "a Queen ;" 
They will not wonder when they see thee stand 
Close to the pierced Side and pierced Hand, 
Among the foremost in the Royal Land 
Where Death hath lost his sting, 

And sin has ceased, 
And each is crowned king, 
Or queen, or priest. 

The robes with which our queens are graced, 
The dust doth mar, and moth doth waste, 



202 POEMS. 

But on thy robes Decay's dull finger 
Shall not, for even a moment, linger; 
The crowns which mortal princes wear, 
Are fading crowns, and crowns of care, 
But thou shalt bind upon thy forehead 
An all -unfading circlet borrowed 
From His who is the King of kings ; 
And as the rolling centuries pass 

On silent, soundless, silken wings ; 
When Time hath broken scythe and glass, 

And change of season never brings, 
Or gay New Year, or Christmas chime ; 
Thou shalt, in that immortal clime, 
See day by day thy crown grow brighter, 
And day by day thy robes grow whiter, 
Thyself grow old, and yet grow younger, 

As thou dost reign 
In the land that knows no hunger, 

No thirst, nor any pain. 

G. W. 



TO A FLY ENCLOSED IN AMBER.* 

"A fly entombed in amber is more nobly sepulchred than any 
Egyptian monarch ever was." 

Bacon, Advancement of Learning. 

BURIED within so rich a tomb, 

Thy sepulchre is such a thing 
Of glorious brightness, that the gloom 

Which thoughts sepulchral always fling- 
Like cypress shadows, o'er the scene 
Where the destroying hand hath been — 

Are all forgotten when we gaze 
On thee enshrined in such a gem, 

Whose golden edges tinge the rays 
Of sunlight, as it shines through them, 

With tints- that have a redder dye 

Than ever decks the evening sky. 

* These lines, and those immediately following, were written 
in early youth. 



204 POEMS. 

As the dwarf tiger casts a wistful gaze, 

And fain would dip her whiskered head 
within, 

Where golden fishes, gliding in a vase, 

Flash on her greedy eye each glistening fin ; 

But the sphered crystal, and the icy wave 

Are potent from her claws the tiny fish to save ; 

As the huge iceberg of the polar seas 

Engulfs the mountain of a mammoth's 
bones, 
And binds together, as the waters freeze, 

A rudely mingled mass of tusks and stones, 
Till hungry bears that prowl about their prey 
Can only hope that summer's sun will melt 
the ice away; 

So the grim spider, with his greedy eyes, 
Shall gloat and peer, and think the form 
within — 



TO A FLY ENCLOSED LN AMBER. 205 

Thy lifeless form — a living, breathing prize, 
Which wiles and thickly woven net may 
win : 
But thy dead stillness and unmoving feet 
Match his tried cunning with unwilled deceit. 

Immortal insect ! thou hast such a shrine — 
So gay, so beautiful, and bright a cell — 

That I could part with this w r arm life of mine, 
If it were given in death to dwell 

Embalmed in brightness — buried in the blaze 

Of such a lustrous gem, as that on which I 

gaze ! 

G. W. 



MERMAIDS' TEARS. 

PEARLS are the tears that Mermaids weep, 
When they their midnight vigils keep ; 
For Mermaids sigh, and sorrow too, 
And weep, as well as I or you. 

Perhaps you've thought, perhaps believed, 
That Mermaids, when their hearts were grieved, 
Wept briny tears ; 'tis even true : 
'Tis they with salt the waves imbue. 

But tears more precious must be shed 
When those whom they have loved are dead — 
The Mermen of the deep, whose charms 
Have wiled the Mermaids to their arms. 



MERMAIDS' TEARS, 207 

And Nereids catch them in their shells, 
And hide them where the sea-fish dwells, 
Till years revolving tint them o'er 
With hues they did not know before. 

Then from the depths of eastern seas, 
Where dive the swarthy Ceylonese, 
The tiny shell-fish from the rude rock torn, 
Through waves unwelcome to the light is 
borne. 

The unconcious casket of a gem 

Dies to adorn a diadem ; 

And tears that trembled in a Mermaid's eyes 

Become an English lady's prize. 

G. W. 



THE DEWDROP. 

The thoughtful soul doth in the dewdrop read 

The image of a high and holy thing. 

Shrined within the bright recess 

Of some young flower's loveliness, 

It doth live in quiet delight 

Through the stillness of the night, 

Gazing aye into the sky 

With a calm and earnest eye, 

Prisoning, in quivering rest. 

One bright gleam upon its breast 

Of the radiance that is sent 

From the starlit firmament. 

But when morning's gladsome birth 
Pours its glory on the earth, 



THE DEWDROP. 209 

Then, amid the glare and splendour 
Which the mounting sun doth render, 
It is caught from earth away 
To the blaze of cloudless day. 
And though grieves the flower it left, 
Of the thing it loved bereft, 
With its chalice faintly stooping, 
As in voiceless sorrow drooping, 
Yet from each awaking bird 
Blithesome notes of song are heard ; 
And the lark, to whom 'tis given 
Most to know of that bright heaven, 
Pours his paean, sweetly wild, 
Like an embodied song, exiled 
From the place where seraphs' lyres 
Swell the notes of hymning choirs. 

J. M. R. 



TO A POLYANTHUS 

WHICH GREW IN MY MOTHER'S WINDOW. 

How the rich cups of that so lovely flower 
Lift to the heavens their purple velvet 
leaves ! 
That every petal, freshened by the shower 
Which falls in dewdrops from the slanting 
eaves, 
May feel the warm sap through its vessels run, 
In glad obedience to the glowing sun. 

Each fragrant chalice breathes upon the air 
A scent more sweet than censer ever flung 

In clouds of incense, blinding all the glare 
Of garish candles, when the mass was sung : 



TO A POLYANTHUS. 211 

cf The long-drawn aisle " and the cathedraPs 

gloom 
Ne'er felt the richness of such rare perfume. 

With forms more graceful, and with vestments 
clad 
Such as the haughty prelate never wore, 
They give to God an adoration glad, 

That well might teach us, all our souls to 
pour 
In high-souled, earnest, heaven-uplifted prayer, 
To Him who doth alike for all His children 
care. 

G. W. 



P2 



TO A SOAP BUBBLE. 

BRIGHT little world of my own creating, 

Blown with a breath of the viewless air, 
Thy fragile form, in circles dilating, 

Seems destined each hue of the rainbow to 
wear; 
The amethyst's purple is given to thee, 

And the emerald's green, like the sparkling 
sea, 
Mingles its tints with the sapphire's blue. 
Thou art a sun, rich in thy brightness, 
Thou art a moon, silvered with whiteness, 
Thou art a planet, begirt with a glow 
Of colours enamelled above and below, 
As only the pencil of light can bestow. 



TO A SOAP BUBBLE. 213 

Who knoweth now, but that each starry 
sphere 
That silently floats in the heavens on high 
Was once a gay bubble, pellucid and clear, 

Before it was given a place in the sky, 
And blown by the lips of some young angel, 
trying, 
While his close feathered wings were yet 
tiny and frail, 
By other bright things and their fashion of 
flying, 
To learn on his own gilded pinions to sail. 
For this one by one, the planets were blown, 
And the bright milky way with starry gems 

sown; 
In the ether above no storms ever blow 
To crush their frail forms, or toss to and fro 
Those delicate worlds, so round in their orbits 
they ever shall go. 

G. W. 



MUSIC THE BEST CHRONOMETER. 

'TlS said, the planets in their circles wheeling 
Keep up a symphony, and changeful chime 
Of moving melody, that onwards stealing 
Metes out Eternity, and makes it Time. 

This solemn music is the voice of heaven, 
Some wandering pulses only earthward steal ; 
Through love and mercy are their lapse for- 
given, 
That Time may have a guiding balance-wheel. 

The silent shadow which the sun is chasing 
Hath for the waiting ear nor voice nor tone 



MUSIC THE BEST CHRONOMETER. 215 

The noiseless image round the dial pacing, 
Tells of Time's passage to the eye alone. 

The shaken hour-glass, and the sands in shift- 
ing, 

Fall with as light a step, as faint a sound 

As feathery snow-flakes, which the wind is 
drifting 

In ceaseless heaps upon the frozen ground. 

We need not these to keep for aye repeating 
What sum of time makes up an earthly day, 
We know too well, and feel that no entreating 
Will bind the hours that fleet too fast away. 

The lapse of moments we in numbering 
Should mark, like heaven, by the voice of 

songs, 
For silence suits alone the slumbering, 
And dumbness only to the dead belongs. 



216 POEMS. 

We are living ! when the hours move sadly, 
Sorrow's fetters cumbering their wings, 
Wake the melody that moveth gladly 
Let a cheerful finger strike the strings. 

Time will mend his pace and catch the mea- 
sure, 
Break the bonds that made his pinions flag : 
Life is short, but if it wanteth pleasure, 
Who could bear its weary weight to drag ? 

If the moments heedlessly are rushing, 
Solemn music, as of anthems holy, 
Softly will, the storm of passion hushing, 
Make their tiny winglets move more slowly. 

Calmly thus the hours, by music guiding, 
Taught to wing a stately measured flight, 
Peace will bring us, and a calm abiding 
Sense of chastened innocent delight: 



MUSIC THE BEST CHRONOMETER, 217 

Till Death's cold fingers, from our shoulders 
taking 

The cloak of care so wrapped about us here, 

Shall send our spirits — earthly fetters break- 
ing— 

To learn the music of a higher sphere. 

G. W. 



A FRAGMENT. 

WHAT do I out in the dull and silent night, 

Thus faring on my way ? 
As when Nature, stirred in her strong delight 
'Mid the broad and flooding day — 
When the gladly-conscious earth pulsed from 

her leaping heart 
The glowing tide of strength and mirth, forth 

into every part, 
And the force, that is the life of all the things 

that live, 
To do the work it needs must do, did mani- 
festly strive ; 
And my eye could catch the numerous stir, 

and my ear the chiming glee 
Of a thousand happy creatures on earth and 
air and sea ; 



A FRAGMENT. 219 

And man with busy hum, and the voice of 

things though dumb — 
Bird, flower, and beam, and wave, tumultuously 

did come. 

Then it was well that the living tread 

Should go 'mid the living scene, 
And 'twas well that I should not be as the 
dead, 
Or as those who have never been ; 
But when, as a weeded one who hangs o'er 

the dead in silent sadness, 
Pale Night doth brood o'er the stirless earth, 

that breathes no more of gladness, 
No laughter and no voices, no hum of many 
noises, 
That who so rife and bold, 
Save when a dim low tone, flitteth around like 
the whispered moan 
Of that melancholy mourner old, 



220 POEMS, 

Or the echo of Life which Death gives back 

from his chambers cold ; 
When the banner of brave bright hues which 

the sun of the day unfurled, 
With the host of all moving things hath past 

to the nether world ; 
And the tall, calm cliff with the wan light 

spread, 
Stand like the sheeted unsepulchred dead ; 
And the gay young flower, and the flashing 

beam, 
And the singing bird, and the flowing stream 
Have been quenched in living bloom 
By the dull and chilling gloom, 
Then, why doth the step of life go forth on 

the earth — a tomb ? 

J. M. R. 



ON THE EAST WIND. 

Oh East Wind, the accursed ! 
At the pole thou wert nursed, 

An iceberg was thy cradle ; 
Thou wert swaddled in snow, 
All stuck to and fro, 

With icicles sharp as a needle; 
With hail-shot thou wert christened, 
And he thought no one listened, 

The white-bearded, shivering priest ; 
So he called thee not North, 
But he sent thee forth, 

Baptized with a lie as the East. 



222 POEMS. 

A deceiver thou art ! 

In the East without part, 

In Asia or Ind, 
Thou breathest not of cinnamon, 
Thou smellest not of Lebanon, 

Thou detestable wind. 



I hate thee and scoff at thee, 
But I fear to laugh at thee, 

Thou cruel betrayer ! 
Thou tosser of waves, 
And digger of graves, 

And killer and slayer, 
Be honest at least, 
And come not from the East 

But blow from the Pole ; 
And if I cannot cure thee, 
At least Til endure thee, 

And say on the whole, 



ON THE EAST WIND. 223 

That though cutting and cold, 
Thou art open and bold, 

A deliberate smiter; 
And in patience I'll rest 
Till the wind from the west 

Come forth as thy fighter, 
And pommels and pelts thee, 
And thaws thee and melts thee, 

And chokes out thy breath ; 
And I and the flowers, 
Brought out by the showers, 

Will rejoice in thy death. 

G. W. 



MUSINGS. 

I AM filled with wonder great ; 
Musing of thy high estate, 
Of the name unto thee given, 
Child of God and Heir of heaven ! 
What then mean those sounds I hear, 
Tones of weeping, words of fear ? 
Thou by holy voice art told 
Truths and glories manifold, 
But thou art so weak and blind 
In thy heart and soul and mind, 
Thou art slow to understand 
Of the high and better land, — 
Hearing faintly dost believe, 
Knowing darkly dost conceive — 



MUSINGS. : 

Through thy shades of gross decay 
Dim the heavenly radiance gleameth ; 

Through thy prison-walls of clay 
Dull the song of glory seemeth. 



Couldst thou but make pure thy sense 
From the fleshly influence, 
Thou shouldst see in vision clear 
How thy Father standeth near, 
Hears and pities thine alarms, 
Holds thee in the eternal arms ; 
See how He who for thee died 

Living keeps thee by His care, 
Doth thy lot on earth provide, 

Doth thy place in heaven prepare ; 
Know the Spirit's gracious leading, 
Hear His groanful interceding ; 
Shining clear amid the sky, 
Zion's blissful city spy, 
Q 



226 POEMS. 

And the unnumbered goodly throng, 
Standing round the Master's feet, 

Singing the incessant song, 
Harping ever loud and sweet ; 

And refrain to sigh and moan, 

That the road is long and lone. 



What, the way thou hast to go, 
Thou poor doubter, dost not know ? 
In the twinkling of an eye, 

Thou mayst stand the bliss among, 
Very breath indrawn to sigh 

May be rendered back in song ; 
Swift thy soul may start and flee, 
Eye to eye the glory see, — 
Know how bright the unshadowed Face : 
Feel how sweet the unmingled grace ; 
See those spirits good and true, 
And the angels' shining crew : 



MUSINGS. 1 

Then thy heart with theirs employ, 
Swell the triumph, share the joy. 

Of that bliss no longer deem 

As a fable fond and vain ; 
As one dealeth with a dream 

Hold not thine eternal gain. 
Is not that alone the real 

Land of pure immortal forms ? 
Is not this the dark ideal 

Place of night, and clay, and worms ? 

j. M, R. 



O 2 



THE EOLIAN HARP, 

WRITTEN FOR THE AIR "THE LAST LINKS ARE BROKEN." 

The deep tones are dying, that haunted mine 

ear, 
Like the summer wind sighing when autumn 

is near, 
When the Fairies are singing along the green 

lea, 
And bright birds are winging their way o'er 

the sea ; 

That music, revealing awhile to my heart 

Each heaven-born feeling, too soon to depart, 

But awakes the desire, that so witching a strain 

Should steal from the lyre, o'er my senses 

again. 

r T W 



FAIRY RINGS. 

Fairy rings have airy wings, 
And the fays are chary things. 
Once when I by Stonehenge haunted 

I could all the fairies see ; 
All delighted, all undaunted, 

Both from fear and wonder free. 
I was sitting in the centre 

Of the widest fairy ring, 
When I saw the " good folk " enter, 

Lover each his lassie bring ; 
Upwards at me each one gazed, 
But they were not one amazed. 
" That strange face," said they, " we know it, 
Harm him not, he is a poet." 



230 POEMS. 

Whirled they round like mad ones dancing, 
Wheeled they round like horses prancing, 
Dew-drop beads like jewels glancing, 

As they footed all the round ; 
Very strange were the vagaries 
Of these waltzing little fairies, 
Musical, like blithe canaries, 

Piping clear with mellow sound, 

And they whispered in my ear, 
That they widened every year 
That good circle, as their dear 

Children came to dancing days. 
Now I cannot see a single 
Fairy with his merry jingle : 
Hidden in darkest den or dingle 

Are my well-beloved fays. 

G. W 






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